Different countries celebrate their National Sports Day on dates as per their own history and dates, declared by their sports committee. The National Sports Day in India (also called Rashtriya Khel Divas) is celebrated on 29th August every year with a lot of enthusiasm and sportsmanship. People from all age groups take part in sports like; marathon, kabaddi, basketball, hockey, etc.
Everyone takes part in various types of sports and games. The day not only works as entertainment for people but also spreads awareness about what role sports play in an individual’s life. On this day, various talent hunts are conducted taking out the best out of the young generation. It is also relevant to say that physical activities are treated by many countries as cultural activities; hence it also becomes clear that the concept of games and sports can never be out of fad.
National Sports Day (Dhyan Chand’s Birthday/Rashtriya Khel Divas) 2019
The celebration of National Sports Day will be observed all over India on the 29th of August, 2019, Thursday.
What was Special on National Sports Day 2019
Like every year, this year too on Thursday 29th August India commemorated the birth of its greatest hockey player ever, Major Dhyanchand, as National Sports Day.
The Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi launched the “Fit India Movement” from Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi at 10 A.M. on 29th August. From the dais he encouraged the citizens to adopt to fit and healthy lifestyles, the inaugural program was also broadcasted live on Doordarshan.
The live streaming of Fit India launch function was shown in all CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliated schools as per the former’s instructions. Working on the recommendations of the University Grants Commission, universities and colleges organized a 10000 steps walk and also encouraged students to follow the routine every day.
Several sports personalities were conferred with awards on National Sports Day. The awards that include – Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and Arjuna Award were given by the President of India.
This year, para-athletics Deepa Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia received the Khel Ratna Award.
Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Ajay Thakur in Kabbadi, along with sixteen others were conferred with Arjuna Award.
History of National Sports Day (Dhyan Chand’s Birthday/Rashtriya Khel Divas)
The history of India’s National Sports Day (also called Rashtriya Khel Divas) dates back to the 29th of August, 1905 when a boy named Dhyan Chand was born in a family in the Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh. He is considered one of the greatest hockey players in the history of sports. He earned three Olympic gold medals in the year 1928, 1932 and 1936 in the field of hockey.
He was called “The Wizard” for his master ball control; he played his last international match in 1948. He scored more than 400 goals during his international career. The Government of India awarded Dhyan Chand with the third highest civilian honor of Padma Bhushan in 1956. Hence, his birthday, i.e. 29 August, is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.
Why is National Sports Day Celebrated?
The significance of National Sports Day is immense, it is not only about celebrating the day but is about celebrating the spirit of sports and games countrywide. The celebration is meant to spotlight the importance of this day and to attract the attention of masses towards sports. Such events give recognition, also provide employment to youth and arises awareness of performances of Indian sportspersons in different championships.
The sports fans, as well as the other citizens in the country, recognize the work of different sportspersons, and in the reminiscence of the greatest of all of them, this day is celebrated with much excitement. The main aim of National Sports Day is to raise awareness about the importance of sports and drive home the attention of people to comprehend its advantages on the human body.
How is National Sports Day Celebrated?
National Sports Day is particularly celebrated in academic institutions and sports academies all over the world. Celebrations for National Sports Day are more common in Punjab and Haryana in India due to more sportsperson hailing from these two states. The National Sports Day is celebrated by organizing different types of games and sports. These include games like football, cricket, lawn tennis, volleyball, marathons, basketball, etc, various countries organize their traditional games according to their historical backgrounds.
Most schools arrange annual Sports event on this day every year. The participating students portray their capability through various mediums and winners in the games get a sense of competitiveness. Appraisals are awarded to the winners to motivate the young generation. The celebration of National Sports Day in different countries is mentioned below;
The National Sports Day in India is observed on the 29th of August each year. The Rashtriya Bhawan observes the special Award distribution ceremony of the Indian sportspersons. Famous and renowned sports-related awards like Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Dronacharya Awards are given by the President of India to a sportsperson who has displayed extraordinary work during the year.
Dhyan Chand Award is the highest award for Lifetime Achievement in sports in India. This award is presented on a yearly basis to the persons from the sports field that have not only contributed by the means of their performances but also strived for the upliftment of the sports after they get retired. Many sports events take place all over the country.
Majorly, all the schools across the country celebrate their annual sports day on this day. This is done with the objective of igniting a dogma of reverence and awe towards games in the minds of young children and providing education to them about one of the most significant sports personalities of not only India but all the sportsperson of various countries.
Besides commemorating the great Hockey wizard Dhyan Chand, the National Sports Day is also considered to be a day by the youngsters to make a name for only themselves but for their country as well. The National Sports Day endorse healthy lifestyles and put stress on the sports committee’s agenda on giving as many people as possible the reach to sports.
National Sports Day of Malaysia is also addressed as ‘Hari Sukan Negara’ which is held annually on the second Saturday in the month of October, with the major objective of delivering to people the significance of a healthy lifestyle among its population. The first-ever National Sports day was held in 2015, since then sincere efforts have been done by the Malaysian people to enhance the performance of their sportspersons, not only in domestic games but internationally as well.
Various activities are organized for the entire day in schools, colleges and companies to involve more people in this fitness drive. People take part in marathons countrywide and spread the importance of fitness through their unique ways by running for kilometers and spreading awareness.
Japan’s National Health and sports day are annually commemorated on 22nd October. The celebration of sports day commenced in Japan in the year 1966 during the opening ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics which were undertaken in Tokyo. This day the sports committee of Japan with some of the world’s leading sportspeople works together to bring opportunities in sports to enrich lives, particularly children. It is the day of global observance in the field of sports and not a public holiday. Men and women both actively take part in disseminating the significance of sports.
The National Sports day of Iran in observed as Physical Education and Sports Day on 17th October annually. In Iran, it is not a one-day affair but it is celebrated as a weekly event from 17th October to 23rd of the same month. The main objective is to showcase the importance of exercises, physical activities in the personal and social life of an individual. It also emphasizes a healthy lifestyle amongst the people.
Through the medium of media, an approach is extended to governmental institutions to sponsor the facilities for better infrastructure. These events on National Sports Day provide enough funds to look after the basic needs of sportspersons. Multinational companies also take part in activities to provide funds for scholarships of talented youth.
Some more Suggestions for Celebrating National Sports Day in India
India has become a country of sports participants and not sports consumers; spectators not competitors. A lack of emphasis on physical fitness in school sometimes translates into a lack of confidence. A major number of sportspeople, particularly those from modest backgrounds, use their sporty talent to acquire the biggest degree of security sport can afford - a job in a public-sector company and a regular source of income.
There are innumerable countries that do not proffer their athletes state-of-the-art sporting facilities- but they offer them the best support and guidance they can get. In-country like India, the institutionalization of high-level training, by cut-price coaching and dull training camps, has harmed rather than giving any good to people. The below-mentioned steps should be taken on National Sports Day;
- One can focus on giving out more creative ways to celebrate National Sports Day like fixing special themes different from state to state.
- The government can take sports away from the state list to the concurrent list which can make the federation answerable to them and ensure stringent monitor over the usage of the precious resources.
- India on the National Sports Day should try to host events which hold international importance to increase the awareness about sports and also enhance the infrastructure that exists currently in our country.
- A system should be made by the competent authority to provide an equal platform and playfield to all the citizens of India irrespective of the strata and economic class to which they belong to.
- People should organize and also participate in the sports events with all zeal and enthusiasm, schools should conduct talent hunts and with the help of sponsors provide scholarships to the best ones that are taken from such talent hunt competitions.
There is no dearth of talent in a huge country like India. All we need to do is to tap the talent. Sports is a way to live a healthy and long life which is disease-free and National Sports Day is one of the many platforms which helps to spread this message throughout our country. Sports inculcate a feeling of friendliness among the youngsters and also develop a sense of unity in them. It not only shapes the mind of a person but also makes the mind strong and active. And the historical background of our country also tells that people who excelled in games have proved their worth not only in sports but in their lives too.