National Sports Day | October 16
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


October is prime time for National Sports Day. That’s why on October 16th, the fans, families, and athletes of all the sports converge to celebrate their favorite athletic events. All disciplines of a sport take the field, from the youngest to the seasoned professional.


While golfers hit the links to get at least nine more holes before the snow flies, hoopsters gear up for the season ahead. The puck hits center ice early in October, while baseball aims for the bleachers and clears the bases.

Football is heating up with tackles, kicks, and offsides. Don’t forget, volleyball digs midseason, too. Runners in most of the country love October. Events like 5k, half, and full marathons throughout the nation feature opportunities to enjoy the fall weather and beautifully changing landscapes. In the Western Hemisphere, families gather to watch soccer’s final kickoff. The intensity builds, and every game ends with memories of wicked kicks or the goalie’s best save.

From a young age, family road trips took many to cheer on siblings in a variety of sports. We hauled our gear from place to place, and the team knew the season was drawing to a close when the duffle bags began to smell.


Gather your friends to enjoy watching your favorite team. Get out and play, too. No matter your skill level, relishing the challenge and physical activity will be worth it. Besides, getting together with friends and family to celebrate a favored pastime is one of the best ways to Celebrate Every Day®. And when you do, take a team photo and share it using #NationalSportsDay.

You can learn more about the sports you love in 6 Brief Histories of Sports in America.


Wale RocksNational Sports Day - 1v1 Soccer Championship (pronounced Wally) in partnership with National Day Calendar founded National Sports Day in 2019 to celebrate the athletes, families, and fans of all sports. National Sports Day is about the benefits of sporting competition. When our youth have an opportunity to play competitively, they advance their skills and build great habits to take with them into adulthood. Family members who support them create a bond that brings them together, improving the family unit and communities throughout the nation.

Children excel at a sport when given a chance to practice under the pressure of competition in the game brain. And with soccer becoming a National Sport for all ages, Wale Rocks chose it as their first sport to spotlight.

With all sports, practice is vital. However, time touching the ball under the pressure of competition makes players excel. With the support of great coaches working their magic, these young novices mature into confident players. How exciting to watch their confidence grow.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Sports Day in 2019 to be observed on October 16th, annually.

Sports FAQ

Q. What is the most popular sport in the world?
A. With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide, soccer clearly harnesses the favored sport status. FIFA estimates 265 million play the sport. The sport’s top tournament lasts a month-long every four years and captures an audience of 517 million viewers. In 2018, over 3 million fans attended the tournament, not to mention the billions who watched or listened around the world.

Q. What is the world’s oldest sport?
A. Wrestling earns the title for oldest competitive sport. Evidence of the sport dates back 15,000 years.

Q. What is the oldest team sport?
A. Ulama is not only the oldest team sport, but it is also the oldest known sport to use a ball. The game developed around 3,500 years ago in Central and Southern America.


October 16th Celebrated History


A dentist named William T.G. Morton performed the first successful use of an anesthetic while performing surgery in the surgical amphitheater of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.


Booker T Washington becomes the first African American to dine at the White House when President Theodor Roosevelt invites him to dinner.


The creator of some of the world’s most recognizable animated films founded Disney Brothers Cartoons along with his brother Roy. The studio would later be named Walt Disney Company.


Yasunari Kawabata earned the Nobel Prize for literature “for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind,” and was the first person on Japanese descent awarded the prize.


In her role as Sarah Webber in the film The Whales of August, Lillian Gish became the oldest actress in a leading role. At the age of 95, the actress’s career spanned 75 years.


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina reopens bringing to life the Ancient Library of Alexandria more than 1000 years after its destruction. Once the greatest library in the world full of ancient scrolls and tomes, the library reopened with 250,000 volumes. Today, the library built in the Egyptian city of Alexandria overlooking the Mediterranean Sea is capable of holding over 4.5 million books. The 11 story repository continues to grow its collection.


The KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore hosted 2,241 people all born at the hospital. The participants aged from 7-85 years-old set a world record for the most people gathered for a reunion of people born at the same hospital.

October 16th Celebrated  Birthdays

Lucy Stanton – 1831

The first African American woman to graduate from a four-year college. She completed the course at Oberlin College. Both a teacher and abolitionist, Stanton also served as a local president for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Oscar Wilde – 1854

The poet and playwright is best known for the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as his comedic plays. Plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband are some of his most popular writings.

Cecile de Brunhoff – 1903

The bedtime stories she told her children about an elephant named Babar became a worldwide favorite when her husband, Laurent de Brunhoff wrote them down and added illustrations to go with them.

Charles Dolan – 1926

A pioneering cable innovator established packaging, marketing, and syndication platforms. Before founding Cablevision Systems Corporation in 1973, he established The Green Channel which later would be called Home Box Office (HBO). He also created AMC Networks which include the AMC, IFC, and Sundance channels among others.

Henry Jay Lewis – 1932

After becoming the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, Lewis would go on to conduct in every major U.S. orchestra and around the world. His parents recognized his affinity for music early. While he studied a variety of instruments, his true love was the double bass.

Paul Monette – 1945

The poet and gay activist wrote several poetry collections including Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog. Along with his partner, Roger Horwitz, he founded The Monette-Horwitz Trust.

Tim Robbins – 1958

The Academy Award-winning actor and director rose to fame in the late 1980s in films like Top Gun and Bull Durham. One of his most memorable roles as Andy Dufresne in the Stephen King film The Shawshank Redemption is alluded to in the Castle Rock television series. In the second season, he plays Reginald ‘Pop’ Merrill.

John Mayer – 1977

Some of the most popular songs by the singer-songwriter include “Waiting on the World to Change,” “Gravity,” and “No Such Thing.”

Naomi Osaka – 1997

The three-time Grand Slam singles champion is the first Asian player to hold top ranking in professional tennis singles.


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