The National Sports Day in India is celebrated on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. The day was designated as India's National Sports Day in 2012.
The president gives away sport-related awards such as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award on this day.
Dhyan Chand had played a key role in India's three consecutive Olympic triumphs in 1928, 1932 and 1936. Often referred to as ‘The Wizard’ for his incredible hockey skills, he scored over 400 goals in his career that lasted from 1926 to 1948.
Dhyan Chand's performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympic final is considered as one of his best. He was the top scorer in the game with 3 goals and India went on to easily defeat Germany 8-1.
He was awarded India's third highest civilian honour of Padma Bhushan in 1956.
Born on August 29, 1905, in Prayagraj (formerly known as Allahabad), Dhyan Chand joined the British Indian Army as a sepoy at the age of 16. He exclusively played in army hockey tournaments between 1922 and 1926. He played his first international match in the year 1948.
The legend was originally named Dhyan Singh and, according to reports, he received the nickname 'Chand' as he used to practise all night in the moonlight.
Dhyan Chand died on December 3, 1979, in Delhi after going into a coma.