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Dicuss international sporting events

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

Understanding the essay question and thinking about 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.
You should note that you must write about both the pros and cons of hosting international
events andgive 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 athletesand 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 debtthrough 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 athletescan be transformed into
public housing and the various stadia can be used to build a sporting legacy for future
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 fundsto 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


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

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