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Nurturing Talents, Promoting Excellence in Sports August 29 National Sports Day (Issue no 22, 27 August - 2 September 2022)

Nurturing Talents, Promoting Excellence in Sports August 29

National Sports Day




EN Team


August 29 is celebrated as the National Sports Day in India which is also the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand. National Sports Day is a timely reminder for the need for sporting activities in life and to honour the remarkable achievements of all those exemplary sportspersons who have represented India in various sports and made our nation proud. Not only that, this Day also applauds the support given by the families, coaches and support staff towards the success of the talented athletes of our nation.


Why we Celebrate National Sports Day?

The primary goal of this Day is to popularise sports and support sporting talent in India. At a time when India is surpassing conventional ways, adopting new disciplines and building a momentum where more and more of our sportspersons are gaining global recognition, is it important to keep that momentum going by infusing the youth with energy and replenish it with supporting Government policies and schemes. Furthermore, sports builds tenacity and determination among people along with the promotion of health and fitness. The National Sports Day is also an occasion that sees the nation honour its sporting heroes with recognitions like the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna (formerly called the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna), Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award and the Dronacharya Award. At a special ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President of India takes this day to confer these awards


Who is Major Dhyan Chand?

Hockey player Major Dhyan Chand has reserved a special place for himself in the Indian Sports history. Born in Allahabad (Prayagraj) in Uttar Pradesh on August 29, 1905, as Dhyan Singh, he rose to prominence in the pre-independence period. He was the star of the Indian hockey team that dominated the sport in the years before World War II. Starting his hockey career with the regimental team of the British Indian Army, a young Dhyan Singh was a special talent whose dedication towards his crafts made in stand out. He used to spend most of the day in regimental duties and practice hockey in the night under the moonlight and that is the reason which earned him the name Dhyan Chand. Dhyan Chand went on to rule the world of hockey with his delightful stick work and understanding of the game that earned him the moniker of 'Hockey Wizard' and 'The Magician'. The hockey legend's career spanned from 1926 to 1948 and ended as one of the greatest hockey players of all time after having represented India 185 matches and scored over 400 goals during this period. He played an important role in helping India complete their first hat-trick of Olympic gold medals with wins at the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics. The Indian Government conferred him with the Padma Bhushan in 1956.


Development of Sports in India: Sports have always been a part of the common life in India for ages. There are several pieces of evidence of the existence of vibrant sports activities in India. Our epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata are full of incidences of sports such as archery, wrestling, horse-riding, chariot-racing, etc. For instance, wrestling has been a highly popular sport even during the times of Mahabharata. Known as Malla-yuddha, it saw participation from legendary characters such as Bhima, Balram, and Jarasandha - who have been mentioned as the greatest wrestlers in the epic. Today, India is known as a powerhouse in wrestling with several outstanding accolades gained at the international fora - the commonwealth games, the world championships, and the Olympics. The recent success of India at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics is commendable - with many firsts added to the kitty. In recent times, the Government of India and State Governments have taken multiple initiatives to groom athletes for professional sports. With the four tools-players' resources, modern training facilities, international exposure and transparency in selection-the Government has given four tools to increase the potential of the players-the Government has increased the potential of our players. The government has also linked sports with fitness and employment of the youth, self-employment and their careers. The Government of India took a historic step by starting a targeted scheme to achieve top results in the Olympics games. The Target Olympic Podium Scheme, i.e. TOPS, has been a key effort towards India's goal of becoming a Sports Champion. TOPS was launched in 2014 under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) to provide financial assistance and other help to athletes in their pursuit of medals in the Olympics and other international sporting events. Sports such as Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Hockey, Shooting, and Wrestling have been recognized as 'high priority' schemes under the scheme. While the TOPS scheme aimed at polishing existing talent for higher results, the Government of India designed a future-looking scheme to develop a pool of talent from the remotest part of the country through the Khelo India Scheme. Aimed at mainstreaming sports as a tool for national development, economic development, community development, and individual development, the Khelo India scheme was launched in 2018. Today, the Government is spending millions of rupees on the top players on their diet, fitness and training. The Union Government has raised the sports budget from Rs 864 crore in 2014 to Rs 1,992 crore in 2022. Talent is being identified in every corner of the country at a very young age through the Khelo India campaign. Every possible help is being given to such players to make them athletes of the international level.


India@Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games