August 29 is celebrated as the National Sports Day in dedication to the great hockey player Dhyan Chand. August 29, 1905 was the day when India’s talented hockey player was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Dhyan Chand also known as Major Dhyan Chand because of his association with the Indian army at the age of 16. However, his mentor Subhedar Major Bale Tiwari recognized his talent in the game and guided him through the intial stages of his career in the sport.
Pankaj Gupta was the first coach of Dhyan Chand who taught him the game and this made Dhyan Chand a master in ball dribbling and goal scoring. He also nick named the player with the name ‘Chand’ which means Moon in Hindi. Dhyan Chand also lead the Indian team as a captain and throughout his career had won 3 Olympic medals and also awarded Padma Bhushan and till date remains the only player in hockey to receive the award. Dhyan Chand retired from his service in army when he was 51 at the post of Major. During the period 1928 – 1956, Dhyan Chand won the gold Olympic medal 6 times in a row.
The lifetime achievement awards in sports, which is regarded as the highest in the field in India, the Dhyan Chand Award was initiated in 2002, to those who have contributed during their career in sports as well as have been major contributors in the promotions of the sports after retirement. Dhyan Chand contributed to the game even after his retirement. He was positioned as the Hockey Coach Chief at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala and also taught at many coaching camps in Rajasthan.
Major Dhyan Chand also has a stadium recognsied by his name as the Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi.
August 29 is celebrated in the remembrance of such a dedicated and talented player. On this day, the President of the country gives away honorable sports awards such as the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Dhronacharya Award at the President’s house.
The day is also celebrated as the Annual Sports Day in many schools across the country. Moreover, the youth is made aware about the advancement of sports in the country and is also motivated to make a successful career in different sports.