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IELTS sports essay – public funding

This is one of my model IELTS essays lessons. You can

  • read the essay
  • do a vocabulary exercise
  • get a full lesson on how to write the essay

Read the IELTS sports essay

Public funds should be spent on individuals who participate in international sports events rather than on local sports players.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

In these times of austerity, there is much debate as to how public funds for sport should be spent. My own view is that a balance needs to be struck between funding of international stars and the provision of financial support at the grassroots level.

There is an obvious case to be made for using public money to fund grassroots sport. The major argument for this is that these funds should be used to help as many members of society as possible. This can be best achieved by supporting local sports events which are available to the whole community. For example, if there was a governmental programme to encourage children to receive a few hours training in a sport of their choice, this would potentially benefit all families. It could also help with the fight against obesity, which would be a valuable use of public money.

There is also, however, a good case to be made for giving financial support to international sports stars. One rationale for this is how successful international athletes can help give a country a positive image, both at home and abroad. For instance, most people in the UK would consider the investment in supporting athletes for the 2012 Olympics to be highly worthwhile. It is also worth considering how international sports stars act as positive role models for young people and this can encourage them to take up sport.

In conclusion, I disagree with the statement in the question as I do not believe that it is the case that public money should be spent either at the international or grassroots level, rather it should apportioned between them both.

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Understanding the question

The question reads:

Public funds should be spent on individuals who participate in international sports events rather than on local sports players.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

It is important to read the question closely and to notice that:

  1. it is PUBLIC money that is at issue – this should give you plenty to write about. You can ask yourself the question how PUBLIC money should be spent.
  2. to give a complete answer, you almost certainly need to talk about BOTH international and local sport – even if you decide that public money should be spent on one or the other
  3. if the question asks you “TO WHAT EXTENT”, your possible answers include I agree completely/slightly, I disagree completely/slightly, I both agree and disagree.

Possible IELTS sports essay ideas

There are lots of possible ways to write this essay. Here are some ideas to get you going. You should note that I only use a few of these ideas in my own essay. The aim should be to pick and choose those ideas that fit together and you have words for. Do NOT try and use ALL these/your ideas.

Public money is in short supply – these are times of austerity around the world (or most of it!)

Public money should be spent on projects that benefit society

Financial support for international sports stars only directly benefits a few people

Financial support for international sports stars can have indirect benefits for society: these stars act as role models and encourage other people to take up sport

International sport stars can get private financial backing from companies and do need public money (Think David Beckham and all his endorsements, adverts etc)

Local (or grassroots) sport directly benefits more people (think of how many people could use a local swimming pool)

There is a connection between sport and health (think obesity) and money spent encouraging people to take up sport will have health benefits for the community

Before you write: think about vocabulary

One of the traps of a question like this is that you keep on repeating words form the question. You really want to vary these words. Here are a few quick possibilities for you:

funds – funding – money – financial support – financial backing – invest – investment

sport – athlete – training – take up a sport

public – society – community – the government – the state

Understanding the essay structure

1. Balancing the introduction and the conclusion

You want to establish your position towards the question in the introduction. The easiest way to do this is to say what your view is! You then want to return to your introduction in your conclusion and restate your view. Again, it can help to use first person opinion language here.

In these times of austerity, there is much debate as to how public funds for sport should be spent. My own view is that a balance needs to be struck between funding of international stars and the provision of financial support at the grassroots level.

In conclusion, I disagree with the statement in the question as I do not believe that it is the case that public money should be spent either at the international or grassroots level, rather it should apportioned between them both.

Identify your position clearly in the introduction and conclusion

2. Balancing your topic paragraphs

You also want to make sure that your main topic paragraphs balance each other. They can do this by giving two different sides of an argument or by providing two different ways of supporting the same argument. In my example, they give two different sides to the argument. Note how I start each paragraph with a short simple sentence saying what that paragraph is about. Excellent for coherence. You should also note how I use similar language in each topic sentence.

There is an obvious case to be made for using public money to fund grassroots sport.

There is also, however, a good case to be made for giving financial support to international sports stars.

Try and keep the first sentence in each paragraph short: detail comes later
Don’t be afraid to repeat language if it helps to make your ideas clearer – particularly when you’re thinking about essay organisation

3. Explanations follow main points

One way in which essays go wrong is that main points and explanations get confused. In my essay, see how I have separated them out into their own sentence – following the main idea

The major argument for this is that these funds should be used to help as many members of society as possible.

One rationale for this is how successful international athletes can help give a country a positive image, both at home and abroad.

You might also note the “FOR THIS” – I’m linking my sentences and ideas together.

Don’t try and fit too much information in one sentence. Put explanations in their own sentence.

4. Use examples to illustrate your main ideas

I never get tired of saying this: examples make essay writing easier. If you run out of things to say – try and think of an example.

For example, if there was a governmental programme to encourage children to receive a few hours training in a sport of their choice, this would potentially benefit all families.

For instance, most people in the UK would consider the investment in supporting athletes for the 2012 Olympics to be highly worthwhile.

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A tool to assess your own essays - Flesch-Kincaid grade levelDominic Cole's IELTS and Beyond - February 28, 2013

    […] The essays I chose were randomly our most recent task 2 writings. Ryan’s on education can be found here and mine on the funding of sport here. […]

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