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National Sports Day 2023: Which awards recognize sportspersons and their significance?

The National Sports Day in India is celebrated on August 29. It was first included in the celebratory days of the country 11 years ago in 2012. National Sports Awards are conferred to athletes as a recognition to their achievements on this day.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar New Delhi Published on: August 29, 2023 7:00 IST
Virat Kohli, National Sports Day 2023
Image Source : TWITTER Virat Kohli was conferred with Arjuna Award in 2013

National Sports Awards in India is celebrated on August 29 every year. The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand Singh. On this day, the sporting heroes of the nation are also awarded for their excellence in the sport and several awards are given in the honour of sportspersons. A total of six different awards are given to different sportspersons, coaches and organisations for their achievements and contribution towards the Indian Sports.

Here are six core awards that make up the National Sports awards in India - Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the Arjuna Award, the Dronacharya Award, the Major Dhyan Chand Award, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy, and the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar. Here we know more about each of them:

1. Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award (previously Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award) is considered the highest sporting honour in India. India's chess Grandmaster Vishwananthan Anand was the first winner of this award. This award is given to the sportspersons for outstanding performances in sports over a period of four years. The winner gets a medal, certificate and cash prize.

2. Arjuna Award

Arjuna Award is being given since 1961 and was the highest sporting honour in the country before Khel Ratna was announced in 1991-92. The winner of Arjuna Award gets a statue of Arjuna, a certificate and cash prize. Hockey player Anna Lumsden was the first woman to win this award while as many as 20 sportspersons had won the Arjuna Award in 1961.

3. Dronacharya Award

Dronacharya Award was announced in 1985 and is given to the coaches for producing exceptional medal winners for the country. The winner of this award receives a bronze statue of Dronacharya, certificate and cash prize. Athletics coach OM Nambiar credited for coaching PT Usha was among the first winners of this award.

4. Major Dhyan Chand Award

This is another award by the name of Major Dhyan Chand and this is given for lifetime achievement in Sports. The winners of this award get a Dhyan Chand statuette, certificate and cash prize. Boxer Shahuraj Birajdar, India hockey player Ashok Diwan and India Women's Basketball player Aparna Ghosh were the first recipients of this award.

5. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy or MAKA Trophy is the oldest National Sports Award in India and it is being given since 1956-57. This award is given to the university for top performance in inter-university tournaments over the last 12 months. 

6. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar

This award was added to the list of National Sports awards in 2009. This award is given to organisations or corporates and individuals for playing an important role in sports promotion and development in the country.

7. Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award

Tenzing Norgay, an Indian of Nepali Origin, was one of the first two men to scale Mount Everest  - world's highest peak. The award is established in his memory in 1994 recognises outstanding achievement in the field of adventure activities.


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