International sporting events – sample IELTS essay

This is the next in my series of lessons on IELTS essays. In addition to the essay to download, you will find brief notes on structuring the essay and notes on ideas and vocabulary for the essay.

Understanding the essay question and thinking about essay structure

Many people want their country to host an international sporting event. Others believe that international sporting events bring more problems than benefits. Discuss both views and state your opinion.

You should note that you must write about both the pros and cons of hosting international events and give your own opinion. With this type of question it is sensible to use one topic paragraph for the advantages and one for the disadvantages. You can then use the conclusion to (re-)state your own opinion, which should also be clear from your introduction.

Ideas for the essay

To write the essay, you need one good reason for and against hosting sporting events. If you find it difficult to think of ideas, it often works to use just one idea and then argue for and against it. So, for example, in this essay, I use the idea of finance in both the for and against paragraphs. In one paragraph, the idea is that it is waste of public money, and in the other the idea is that it could be a good investment.

Other ideas include:

  • sporting legacy for future generations (stadia and arenas)
  • good for tourism and international investment
  • national pride
  • raise the profile of sport in the country
  • improve infrastructure (new transport and housing)
  • problem of debt
  • hidden costs (policing etc)
  • stadia are empty after the games
  • need for investment in other areas (health etc)

Read the essay

Many people want their country to host an international sporting event. Others believe that international sporting events bring more problems than benefits. Discuss both views and state your opinion.

There is frequently great competition to host international sporting events. Not everyone, however, believes that the price involved in hosting such events is worthwhile. For me, this is an understandable point of view and perhaps not every country should try and stage international sporting events.

The major argument against hosting international sporting events is financial. Typically, it can cost several million pounds to build the arenas and modernise the infrastructure so that it can cater for the athletes and the spectators. This money, it is argued, would be better spent on welfare and education programmes that provide direct support for the population. Indeed, some governments have incurred so much debt through hosting the Olympic Games that they have had to reduce spending on other social programmes.

While there is some merit in that argument, hosting sporting events does also bring significant benefits. First among these is the honour and prestige it brings to the host country because that country will be the centre of the sporting world for the duration of the event. For many people this is beyond any price. More than that, if the authorities plan carefully, they can use the occasion of the sporting event to help finance public works that benefit the whole population in the long term. For example, the village for the athletes can be transformed into public housing and the various stadia can be used to build a sporting legacy for future generations.

My own view is that it is an honour for a country to host a major sporting event. However, if a government wishes to bid for an international event to be staged in its country, it should ensure it has sufficient funds to maintain spending on other projects.

Think about the vocabulary

Before you write the essay, you should think about the range of vocabulary you can use. The best advice is always to try and use topic specific language. Some of this may be quite simple. That’s good. Simple language used precisely is far better than complicated language used badly. In my essay, I focus on the idea of finance and this allows me to use this language:

  • the price
  • financial
  • cost several million pounds
  • this money
  • would be better spent on
  • incur debt
  • reduce spending on
  • finance public works
  • ensure it has sufficient funds
You also want to ensure that you have some variety of sporting language too:
  • build the arenas
  • the athletes and the spectators
  • the Olympic games
  • the centre of the sporting world
  • the village for the athletes
  • a sporting legacy

Download the essay

Sample essay - international sporting events (7107)

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16 Responses to International sporting events – sample IELTS essay

  1. setareh January 1, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Happy new year;
    I wish ,during this new year i`ll be able to write like you.
    Good luck every one

    • Anonymous January 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      I am so happy after getting this essay. I hope you will continue like this . Thank you indeed…

  2. setareh January 1, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    (first among these is )
    May i ask you to explain a little more about this structure sentense.
    Thank you

  3. felicity January 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Happy new year DC,really the way you teach on how to write a good essay has given me much confidence,’ll be sitting for the exam next month. I want to get something clear in an essay like this is one suppose to state his/her opinion in the introduction?I thought you have to save it till the conclusion. Cheers!!

  4. radha January 4, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Hi i followed only your points without reading sample essay
    so can you tell its on right path
    There are several reasons which represent benefits to host an international sporting occasion.Government of host country can earn revenue from tourism.For instance,air fares and hospitality and tourism industry can boost economy of nation.An international sport event can be lead a good example to show prosperity,brotherhood and harmony between two nation’s players.Another reason is that host nation would get golden opportinity to show their custom.tradition and warn welcome to not only international players but also international viewers.

    However,huge amount of investment is needed to organise such sports event.Some facilities and services are essential for players and spactators.Some facilities such as protection to international players,medical expense,fitness training and accomodation comprise valuable income.For Example,serious injury of players during game can be expensive to sports department at certain level of host nation.Sometimes there are chances of communinial tensions between two different nationality’s peeople.

    I only want to know that my idea and structure are proper in these two para and it can be possible to use simple language for 7 per my writing is there any chance i can achieve 7 band i got 6.5 and 6 usally.

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole January 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      Sorry, I really can’t comment in any detail. If you need a teacher (and all students need one at some stage) try one of the teachers on the teachers page.

      I’ve had a very quick look at this and the one negative thing that stands out is that you have a serious problem with articles (a and the). The worry is that this means there is a mistake nearly every sentence (which is one reason why articles matter so much). You do have a nice range of vocab and the paras seem well-constructed.

  5. Christina January 12, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    I think debt is a countable noun in this sense so should it be incurred huge debts than incurred much debt?

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole January 12, 2012 at 6:11 am #

      Not really. Your correction is wrong because the point is not the number the debts but the size of it. There are two ways I could write this sentence – debt is one of those words that can be used both countably or uncountably. You are right that if I was thinking of number, (one debt, two debts, three debts etc) I could write “such a huge debt” ( although huge is not very academic). I wasn’t.

      I was thinking of amount, so I wrote “so much debt”. The idea is that there may be many debts of various sizes and kinds that add up to the concept of “much debt”.

      There is no strict division between countable and uncountable debt. Many words in English operate like this. The question you need to ask yourself is whether I am thinking of it countably (a specific example) or more abstractly or conceptually.

  6. Dinaz January 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Dominic – you write that your opinion should be clear in the introduction – is this necessary each time – can one not reserve one’s opinion for the final concluding paragraph ?

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole January 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm #


      I need to do a lesson on this point. I’ll rephrase sightly – you need to make your position clear in the intro. What that means in different essays can be slightly different. In some essays (typically those where they ask for your opinion), you should try and get your opinion in the intro. In others , you can take a more discursive approach and outline how you will approach the question. Is that any clearer?

      The main point is this. if you don’t make your position clear in the intro, your essay may lack coherence. You may also lose on task response because the essay “won’t present a clear position throughout the response”.

  7. Jadoo March 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I read in your tips somewhere to avoid using references like I, Me and You however I have seen it in almost each essay. Should we use it or not ?

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole July 12, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      This is not absolute rule. The idea is that you should try and avoid over-using personal pronouns. There will be times when it is appropriate to use “I” – particularly when you are giving your personal opinion.

  8. ign August 20, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    hosting sporting events does also bring significant benefits.

    Is it right to use does with plural ( sporting events)

    • Avatar of Dominic Cole
      Dominic Cole August 20, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      The subject of the verb here is “hosting”.

  9. Zunaira October 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    I want essay on Biggest Sports Event of The World.

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