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India is a country of many great talents. Although, the world over, India is known for producing some of the best minds in medicine, engineering and technology, the country has its fair share of sporting legends such as PT Usha, Milkha Singh, Leander Paes, PV Sindhu and the Wizard of Hockey, Major Dhyan Chand.

To commemorate the birth anniversary of this hockey legend, India celebrates National Sports Day every year on 29th August. With our blog today, we pay our respect to "The Wizard" of Hockey.

Read our blog to learn more.


In recent times, people like Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu, and Neeraj Chopra have scaled greater heights. Today, Indian athletes receive world class training. Yet there was once a time when spirit and grit were the only fuel to go on. At a time like that, a light burnt bright and led the way for the many, his name was Major Dhyan Chand.

On 29th August 1905, Major Dhyan Chand was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Today, his birth anniversary is celebrated in the form of National Sports Day. This year marks his 117th birth anniversary.

Did you know that India's highest sporting honor Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is named after him?

Who was Major Dhyan Chand?

Dhyan Chand was born on 29th August 1905 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Dhyan Chand could not continue his schooling as his father had to move a lot due to his army transfers. He joined the Indian Army in 1922 and started his career with British Indian Army regimental squad. He rose to prominence during the New Zealand tour with the army team in 1926.

Widely regarded as the greatest field hockey player in history, he was the captain of the Indian Hockey Team from 1936 to 1948. He played in the Centre Forward position.

He earned three Olympic gold medals in the field hockey in 1928, 1932 and 1936. He scored more than 400 goals from 1926 to 1946 during his international career. He played his final international match in 1948.

The Berlin Olympics of 1936 was considered the best performance of his career. He was the top scorer in the game and India won that match against Germany by 8-1.

He was later awarded Padma Bhushan in 1956.

Sports Awards of India:

The Ministry of Youth and Sports awards prestigious awards to sports people annually on 29th August. The President presents these awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The most prestigious sports awards in India are:

  • Arjuna Award: Instituted in 1961, these awards are named after the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata's character Arjuna. He is recognized as a symbol of hard work, dedication and concertation.

    The award recognizes excellent achievement in sports. A total of 881 sportspersons and 1 team have been conferred with this award. Sunil Gavaskar was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1975 for his contribution to cricket. He went on to score an astonishing 774 runs in his debut series which is regarded as one of the best for any batsman.

  • Dronacharya Award: Instituted in 1985, the award is named after Dronacharya, the ancient master mentioned in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. He was the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas who tutored them as per the tale.

    It is an award to honor outstanding coaching abilities. A total of 129 coaches have been conferred with this award since the awards were instituted. O.M. Nambiar was an athletics coach who was awarded the Dronacharya award in 1985.

    He coached India's greatest track and field runner PT Usha. Besides Usha, Nambiar coached well known medalist Shiny Wilson and Vandana Rao.

  • Maj Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: Formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games, these awards were instituted in 1991-1992. In 2021, the Government of India decided to name it after Maj Dhyan Chand.

    These awards are the highest honor presented for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports.

    Neeraj Chopra was awarded Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awards for Javelin Throw in 2021. He received the award after he won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

  • Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: This is the National Sports Promotion Award, and it was instituted in the year 2009.

    This award recognizes the involvement of corporates, voluntary organizations, and sports control boards in the promotion and development of sports in the country. A total of 47 organizations and individuals have been conferred with this award.

    Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) was conferred with Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar in 2021. The award celebrates IOCL's efforts to promote and encourage sports through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events.

What happens on National Sports Day?

outdoor activities are must

The journey and the destination become one. 

The day marks the celebration of sports and sports people. The motto of the day is to promote awareness about sports. The day also reminds us of the importance of being physically active in life.

The Government of India organizes various events, programs, and seminars to raise awareness about the significance of National Sports Day.

Hockey- The National Sports of India:

Field Hockey is the national sport of India. The Hockey Federation was formed in 1925 and the team played its first international game against New Zealand. The Indian Hockey team won a gold medal for the country in the 1928 Olympics. The Indian Hockey team won six consecutive gold medals for the country between the years 1928 and 1956.

Hockey is one of the oldest games in the world.

Celebrating Rashtriya Khel Diwas or National Sports Day is a matter of pride for all Indians. It honors the contribution of Major Dhyan Chand, who is regarded as one of the greatest sportspeople from India. His singlehanded contribution to the field has inspired and motivated numerous young Indians to follow their passion for sport.

In a country where sporting achievements are assigned a much lower value by society, the Government of India hopes to encourage, support, and promote the achievements of sportspersons across the country.


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We are on a journey to bring silk like soft socks for you. On this special day of India's National Sports day, we pay our respect to all the winners who won the awards in different categories.

We salute the efforts of all sports people for their contribution in the field of sports for Olympics, Paralympics, Asian game, etc. They make us all proud.