National Sports Day to be celebrated across India on Thursday

New Delhi: Various sporting events such as walkathon and football tournaments will be held across the country for the first time as part of the National Sports Day celebration on Thursday to commemorate the birth anniversary of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand, FICCI said on Tuesday.

Government has approved the programme to spread sports to every corner of the country by creating a nation wide awareness about the fruitful side of sports.

"We need to build a sports culture in the country. We do not take sports as seriously as the other sporting nation do. Our sports persons do not get the respect that they deserve," Onkar Kedia, Joint secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said.

"This is probably due to the fact that opportunities to excel in international event is limited because of lack of supportive infrastructure and scientific assistant," he added.

Kedia also said that from next year onwards State governments, NGOs and the academic institutions will be involved to create awareness of National Sports day.

FIFA which sees India as the next big stage for football, has also welcomed this programme.

"I congratulate everyone for coming up with an idea such as this to celebrate the National Sports Day. Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) will work extensively in India for the development of football and sports overall. Also we will initiate football for a social change programme in India," Prince Ali Bin Hussein, Vice President, Asia, FIFA, said.

There would be programmes like 1-2 km walkathon, football tournaments across the colleges and various schools.

All India Council of Physical Education is staging a blood donation camp at Barkatullah University in Bhopal. The blood collected from this camp will be used for the sports persons of the country.

"Collected blood from the camp in Bhopal will be preserved only for sports persons of the country. In case of emergency it will be used for them," said Sandeep Tiwary, General Secretary, All India Council Of Physical Education.

On this occasion, AFC has announced to organise CSR seminar camp in India.

"AFC will organise a CSR seminar from 25th to 26th September in India," said Kushal Das, General Secretary AIFF and and representative of Asian Football Development Project, Fifa.