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Exclusive: What National Sports Day Embodies for These Indian Sportstars

Manika Batra, Mary Kom and Hima Das (Photo Credit: AP and PTI)

Manika Batra, Mary Kom and Hima Das (Photo Credit: AP and PTI)

On Major Dhyand Chand's birth anniversary, News18.com reached out to India's leading sportspersons to ask what National Sports Day means to them.

As India celebrates National Sports Day on August 29, which is the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, News18.com reached out to India’s leading sportspersons to ask what the day means to them.

Sports is life, you win you lose but the most important thing is the process in which you dissolve. On the National Sports Day, let’s pledge that we all should be connected to sports one way or the other — Madhurika Patkar

The discipline and the sense of responsibility that sports can teach us is unparalleled to anything else. It surely has made me the person I am today. Proudly wishing all current and future athletes to bring more laurels and medals for our country on our National Sports Day - Dhruv Sarda

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Wishing all my fellow sportspersons a very happy National Sports Day! The best part of being sportsperson is being able to represent the country, not many have the opportunity and priviledge to do that. The moment for me was when the national anthem was played after we had won the gold in the Commonwealth Games, that’s the proudest moment for any athlete. I am also really happily with the way sports is being treated in the country now and is getting its due recognition. It’s actually transformed from an extra-curricular activity to a profession. I hope India can be a sporting superpower in the next decade - Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

As a nation, India has tremendous achievements in the field of sports. It isn’t just the past glories of cricket and hockey that defines the nation now but sports has actually become an integral part of India. Many athletes from different fields have taken it to another level. With the Olympics set to be held in Tokyo, all the athletes are gearing up to win great feats in the world’s biggest and the most anticipated sports extravaganza. India is dressed for success. Nothing will be easy. This National Sports Day, let’s come together to make India a FIT INDIA and win against Covid-19. Let’s spread positivity and love all around - Jeremy Lalrinnunga

It has been my dream to play for India and I feel proud. I have won medals for the country, which I couldn’t have done without being a sportsperson. I am proud to be an Indian - Sutirtha Mukherjee

The only medicine that heals my soul and gives me immense happiness during tough times is sports. Feels great and proud to be part of the Indian sporting fraternity - Malemnganba Meitei

Sports taught me and gave me a lot in life. Sports made my mind strong and I thank God for me being a sportsman - B Sai Praneeth

 

I would like to wish everyone a very happy National Sports Day and pay my respects to Major Dhyan Chand on his birth anniversary. This day is a perfect occasion for me to receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. It is always a proud feeling to represent the country and win medals - Manika Batra

Sport has played a big role in my growth as a person and I urge everyone to be part of the fitness revolution in the country on National Sports Day. I would also like to extend my wishes to fellow sportspersons who are training with determination and hard work towards their dream. Sports and fitness are integral part of life. The National Sports Day not only celebrates the birth anniversary of legend Major Dhyan Chand but inspires me and many others to keep working hard for our goals - Mary Kom

I pay my tributes to hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand on his birth anniversary which is also marked as the National Sports Day in our country. He has been an inspiration for many and the day also highlights the importance of sports and fitness in our lives.  The National Sports Day should inspire everyone to adapt sports as part of their daily lives and help contribute towards a healthier India - Vijender Singh

Major Dhyan Chand’s Olympic feat is something that I have always looked upon. The National Sports Day only makes my determination and grit to win an Olympic medal for the country stronger. I wish everyone a happy National Sports Day and pay my tributes to one of India’s greatest athletes ever. I hope this day motivates people to inculcate sport as part of their lives - Hima Das

The National Sports Day is a wonderful initiative by the Government of India to create enthusiasm for sport in the country and get more kids involved! Increasing our numbers in sport and creating a sporting nation is a step in the right direction - Saurav Ghosal

Happy National Sports Day. Sport can be the answer to a lot of our problems. Sport heals and hope it plays an important part in our future - Darren Caldeira

Let’s make Sports part of our Daily Diet. A healthy and Happy National Sports day to one and all - Yolanda D’Souza

I would like to congratulate all sports people and supporters of sports on our national sports day. I encourage you all to keep playing and working hard and support at whatever level that may be. In the current circumstances, you might not be able to do this in teams but whatever you can do which is safe and possible keep up the good work - Bala Devi

Sports are about those incredible moments where sheer human will and desire overcomes the odds. These are the moments we remember. Sports teaches you to overcome failure, makes you humble, brings a lot of joy, keeps you fit and so many more things in life. It is very important for every human being to make sports an integral part of his/her life - Harmeet Desai

Sport brings everyone together and through sports, we can create a healthy society and when we have a healthy society, we will surely have a healthy state or a healthy nation. So, I request everyone to engage in any form of sports at least thrice a week. Enjoy the national sports day. Best wishes - Renedy Singh

My sport has made me who I am today. Sport has the power to make you a better person. It has the power to make a good life for you. It has the power to make you happy and help you live a healthy life. It teaches you to tackle and fight against all the problems you will face in the journey of life. I would like to wish every Indian on account of National sports day, and I hope in India’s future, every citizen of our great country plays a sport of any kind, which will help our nation become a better and stronger nation. Jai hind! - Virdhawal Khade

A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t - Sanil Shetty

I wish everyone a very happy national sports day. I am very glad that we celebrate sports day in a grand way in our country by honouring sportspersons with awards on this day, which motivates many sportpersons to achieve more.  Sport is everything to me, it’s my first love & my passion it has given me so much.  I am very thankful to major DhyanChand sir who won three gold medals in Olympics and brought laurels to our country and give this occasion to celebrate  - N Sikki Reddy

On National Sports Day, greetings to all the sports enthusiasts and I salute the sports stars of India, who dedicate their lives in bringing glory for the nation. Happy National Sports Day Everyone - Sameer Verma

Being a sportsperson, its important to train the mind and stay fit and ready to battle always - Soumyajit Ghosh

I would imagine unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, which is why for the first time it will be done virtually. It is a big change and I am not sure how the athletes would be taking it given that going to Rashtrapati Bhawan, wearing the attire, standing before the president and being lauded for one’s efforts are the moments people work so hard for. Last year we were there to receive the Khel Protsahan puruskar. Little did we know pandemic would change it all this year. But I wish all the 74 awardees the very best. Enjoy the moment, when your efforts are being lauded. Keep working hard and making the nation proud. These awards are a great form of motivation for us - Gagan Narang

I welcome the most important day in my life, “National Sports Day 2020", which enables me to recall and give respect to the heroes of Indian Sports - Bembem Devi

Today is National Sports Day, which is the birthday of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand and so, I wish everyone on the day. By studying, you can get a good job and be a good citizen but sports is that medium that enables you to make your country proud. So, I would just like to say that along with studies, sports need to be emphasised on as well. I would like to tell all the parents that there aren’t careers only in the education field but in sports as well, like I have been in sports all my life and have won medals for myself and the country. Due to sports, I have received many awards, along with cash prizes and more and due to that, I have almost fulfilled my dream of changing my parents’ situation. I made a house for my parents, got things I wanted to for myself and now, I am helping the society as well. During Covid-19, I have distributed food to the needy. Sports is extremely important and now the government has launched so many schemes with which kids are supported - like Khelo India. There are also sports institutes in states, where you can eat, stay and improve yourselves. I would only say that in today’s time, please participate in sports along with the academics - Dutee Chand

National Sports Day is celebrated in the honour of late Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand sir. Dhyan Chand sir impressed a lot of people with his skills and performed very well for the country. He has brought recognition to sports in our country. On this day, many sports have their sports day and many recognised athletes, who are doing well for the country, are felicitated with Arjuna award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan. National Sports Day gives recognition to all kinds of sportspersons in our country - Manav Thakkar

(With inputs from Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri and Ritayan Basu)

first published:August 29, 2020, 13:32 IST