National Sports Day: Stay fit and healthy
We all celebrate our annual sports day in school but how about celebrating a national sports day?
India celebrates its Sports Day every year on the birth anniversary of legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand who was born on August 29, 1905. The National Sports Day is also known as Rashtriya Khel Diwas.
On this day, the President confers the National Sports Awards, National Adventure Awards, Arjuna Award, Khel Ratna, Dronacharya Award and Dhyanchand Award to recognise the exceptional achievements of Indian sportspersons. This year’s list of National Sports Award winners includes prominent names like Ravindra Jadeja, Deepa Malik, Bajrang Punia and many others. (For full list, read below)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Fit India Movement on Sports Day this year. The aim is to encourage people to include sports and fitness in their day-to-day lives. Schools and educational institutions are directed to motivate children to participate in physical activity. Modi had also launched Khelo India Scheme on this day in 2016.
Who’s Dhyan Chand
Called the ‘Wizard of Hockey’ Dhyan Chand was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. The maverick hockey player led India to three Olympic gold medals in the years – 1928, 1932 and 1936. He had scored over 400 goals in 22 years, spanning from 1926 to 1948. He was conferred with Padma Bhushan in 1956. He had also served in the Army.
Logo of Fit India Movement
Participants perform a dance Mallakhamb during the Launch of Fit India Movement on National Sports Day in New Delhi.
President Ramnath Kovind presents Khel Ratna to Deepa Malik
List of National Sports Awards 2019
Khel Ratna: Deepa Malik (para-athletics), Bajrang Punia (wrestling).
Arjuna Award: Ravindra Jadeja (cricket), Mohammed Anas Yahiya (athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football), Sonia Lather (boxing), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (hockey), S Bhaskaran (bodybuilding), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Anjum Moudgil (shooting), Bhamidipati
Sai Praneeth (badminton), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (athletics), Pramod Bhagat (para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (polo), Poonam Yadav (cricket), Swapna Burman (athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (para sports-athletics) and Gaurav Singh Gill (motorsports).
Dronacharya Award (regular category): Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton).
Dronacharya Award (lifetime category): Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).
Dhyan Chand Award: Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey).