August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year in honour of one of the greatest and legendary Indian Hockey Player, Major Dhyan Chand Singh.
Born on August 29, 1905, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh to Sameshwar Dutt Singh who was himself a hockey player in British- India Army, Major Dhyan Chand began his international career in 1926. Often termed as “WIZARD”, his charisma on the field and superb ball control made the world wonder if his hockey stick had a magnet inside. Even the great dictator, Adolf Hitler, offered to buy Dhyan Chand’s hockey stick after a match against Germany at the Berlin Olympics.
Dhyan Chand’s extraordinary skills to conjure magic on the hockey field led India to 3 Olympic Gold Medals in 1928 (Amsterdam), 1932 (Los Angeles) and 1936 (Berlin).
Dhyan Chand was given an honorary rank of Major in the Indian Army, and in 1956 at the age of 51, he retired from the Indian Army. In 1956, Dhyan Chand was facilitated with the third highest civilian honour of India Padma Bhushan Award and till date remains the only Indian Hockey Player to be awarded the said award. In the memory of one of the greatest hockey players, the Indian Government introduced Major Dhyan Chand Award in 2002 which is a lifetime achievement award in sports and games. The awardees are facilitated with a cash prize of INR 5 Lakhs, a plaque and a scroll of honour.
The below listed athletes have been nominated for Dhyan Chand Awards, 2014:-
National Sports Day is celebrated with great zeal throughout India. In honour of the birth anniversary of the hockey maestro, students from the Andhra University and other colleges as well as several sports associations of the Olympic Association, Visakhapatnam district held a rally on Thursday (August 28) morning from Aqua Sports Complex on Beach Road to the Dhyan Chand statue at Andhra University. The vice-chancellor of the Andhra University, Prof. G.S.N. Raju while garlanding Dhyan Chand’s statue yesterday said that Dhyan Chand was an all time great sports person who contributed immensely to the national game of India, hockey and should be honoured with Bharat Ratna, highest civilian award of Republic of India.