National Sports Day 2020: Date, Significance & History of the Day Celebrated to Honour Hockey Legend Major Dhyan Chand on His Birth Anniversary

National Sports Day in several countries is celebrated to honour the national sports team and sports traditions of those countries. In India, the National Sports Day also known as Rashtriya Khel Divas is observed on August 29 of every year to mark the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, a legendary hockey player, who was also born on this day in 1950. This auspicious day is celebrated across the country to create and spread awareness about the importance of sports in everyone’s life.

On this day, the President of India also honours several sportspeople from the country with the Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awards. Dhyan Chand is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players ever and to commemorate the feats and achievements he had accomplished, the Union government of India, decided to announce August 29 as the country’s National Sports Day in his honour.

Date and History

National Sports Day in India is observed on August 29 on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand. It is also known as the Rashtriya Khel Divas and was first inducted into the list of national celebrations day in the year 2012. Chand was one of the country’s greatest ever hockey players and was known as “The Wizard” for his magical touch, superb control, creativity and extraordinary goal-scoring feats. He led India to three consecutive gold medals and in his honour, the day is celebrated in India.


The National Sports Day is celebrated in India to preach and spread the importance of sports and games in every individual’s life. The National Sports Day also highlights the importance of the contributions Dhyan Chand to rich sporting history in India and its sporting culture.


The birth of Dhyan Chand is celebrated extensively at the national level. President of India commemorates sportspersons and coaches who have made the nation proud of their service in their respective sports. They are awarded the Arjuna, Dronacharya, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Honours. Rohit Sharma, Vinesh Phogat Among Five to Win Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2020; Ishant Sharma to Be Conferred Arjuna Award (See Full Winners’ List).


In 2019, PM Narendra Modi launched ‘Fit India Campaign’ on the occasion of National Sports Day. The nationwide campaign aims to encourage people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their everyday lives and a committee was formed to advise the government on the Fit India Movement. In April 2020, the Indian government launched Fit India Active Day Programme under the flagship ‘Fit India’

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 28, 2020 05:00 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website
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