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National Sports Day

National Sports day

You Don’t Play For The Crowd, You Play for Country”- Mahendra Singh Dhoni

It is a well-known fact that sports and sportsmanship reside in the hearts of every Indian and is an indispensable part of the country. Now when the rest of the world has much invested in sports like cricket and football, very few know India dedicates a day to celebrate the glory of all kinds of sports around the world. Indian has not only excelled in western sports but also has been giving excellent performance in traditional sports like ‘kusti’ and ‘kabbadi’.

This year India is celebrating the 116th birthday of legendary Hockey Olympian Major Dhyan Chand Singh on 29th August as National Sports Day. This day was Introduced for the very first time by the Government of India in 2012, as Rashtriya Khel Diwas for championing the spirit of sportsmanship and propagating the message of various sports.  And since then it has become the centre of attraction for ardent sports lovers of the country. On this day eminent sports personalities are honoured with most prestigious sports awards such as Major Dhyan Chand Award,  Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award and Khel Ratna Award by the President of India. The states of Punjab and Haryana are majorly involved in this day and the day is celebrated with huge pomp and show. Various sports competitions such as kabbadi, wrestling, marathon, basketball, football, cricket are organised. Talent hunts are also conducted at the same time to promote sporting talent so that India can scale higher glories in the international sphere. 

Now let us have a glance at some of the astonishing facts about the history of sports in India:

    • Right after independence, the independent  Indian Hockey team emerged as golden champions who secured first place against Great Britain in the 1948 Summer Olympics.

    • In the year 1958, Mihir Sen became the Indian to swim the English Channel in fourth fastest time i.e. 14hrs and 45 mins

    • The 1950s and 1960s are considered as the golden era for Indian Football team, as it ranked among the top 20 best teams around the world. Under the leadership of legendary Sayed Abdul Rahim, the team won the 1951 and 1962 Asian games and stood fourth in 1956 Olympics.

    • In 1960, Milkha Singh also known as “Flying Sikh” ran incredibly and made a record in a 400-meter race.

    • In the year 1971 Indian Team under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar won its first-ever test match series against West Indies. It also marked the debut of legendary Indian Cricket player Sunil Gavaskar.

    • Later in the year 1983, India achieved another landmark when the Indian Cricket Team led by Kapil dev won their first world cup defeating the mighty West Indies.

    • In 1975, Indian Hockey team regained its position after defeating Pakistan in the World Hockey Championship.

    • In the year 1980, Prakash Padukone became the first Indian in the history of Indian sports to win the All England Open Badminton Championship.

    • PT Usha, “The queen of Indian Track and Field” claimed 4 gold and 1 silver at Asian games in 1968.

    • In 1988, Vishwanathan Anand paved his way on becoming the first Indian Chess GrandMaster.

    • In 1990 kabaddi was officially introduced as a sporting event, and Indian men kabaddi team bragged their first gold medal the same year in Beijing Asian games.

    • In 1999, Bhaichung Bhutia was the second-ever Indian after Mohammed Salim to professionally play football.

    • Narain Karthikeyan became the first Indian to drive in Formula 1 racing championship in the year 2005.

    • Sachin Tendulkar became the “master-blaster” and first and the only cricketer to score 100 international centuries.

    • 2015: Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman world No. 1 in badminton after winning India Open BWF Super Series. She had won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.

    • In 2016 Rio Olympics P.V. Sindhu wins a silver medal in badminton.

    • Dipa Karmakar becomes India’s first female gymnast and Sakshi Malik becomes the first Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal with a bronze in the 58kg wrestling at Rio Olympics, 2016.

  • India reached the ICC Women’s’ World Cup final, losing to England in 2017.

  These were some remarkable achievements in the sector of sports for 70 years in the history of Indian Sports.

Check out the more detailed history of Indian sports at: 


Now let us have a sneak peek at the importance of sports in our daily lives:

    • Academic excellence: All the physical activities or sports require time and energy. Sports enhances the cognitive functions of the brain, sharpens learning skill sets that will help students excel academically.

    • Reduce the risk of obesity: All sorts of physical activity helps individuals burn calories. Sports help control your weight and reduce the risk of obesity and other related diseases.

    • Reduce stress: The most important benefit of sports is reducing stress levels. Regular exercise is a natural way to feel relaxed, energetic and let go of stress. A lower amount of stress will thereby manage high blood sugar levels and hypertension.

    • Discipline: Sports teaches mental and physical discipline. It helps learn and follow rules and regulations, obey the coach, time management, practising restraint and all forms of discipline which is required throughout your life.

    • Leadership skills: While you are in the field, you will learn how to lead a team, manage the stress level of team mates, manage teams’ emotions, take decisions for the team, and work for the goal. These skills will make you a successful leader.

  • Reduce the risk of heart diseases: Regular physical activity is very important to maintain heart’s health. Sports will reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol and fats in the body which thereby helps in managing the problem of high blood pressure.

                                    Stay healthy, Stay Fit. Happy National Sports Day.

-Sejal Upadhaya.

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National Sports Day

National Sports Day

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