Model Answer - Ielts Writing (Task 2)

Popular events like the football World Cup and other international sporting occasions are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way.

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

During the World Cup 2010 held in South Africa, before the start of each football match, the captain of each team read out a speech in the stadium in front of thousands of supporters. This short talk highlighted the fact that the games were against racism and were meant to unite nations.

At sporting events, each country shows its athletes off, and for a brief moment countries forget their tensions. On the field teams are on an equal footing and competition is regulated by policies, referees, judges etc. Flags are waved or wrapped around an athlete’s body and national anthems sung for winners. These are all ways of releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way.

In my opinion the desire for South Africa to join the world athletic scene pressured politicians to bring an end to apartheid. International tensions and sanctions were broken and South Africa now proudly displays its athletes on the global circuit. In sports, politics doesn’t count but people are nevertheless able to identify, support and cheer for their country.

There are some concerns for safety during international sports events. On rare occasions there are a small percentage of hooligans who take out their patriotic sentiments in a violent way, attacking members of their enemy country and destroying property.

On the whole, I believe sporting events are vital for putting aside tensions between countries and expressing ones love for a country and admiration for sporting heroes without causing any unnecessary harm. The harmony brought by sports can be seen in the peaceful passing of the Olympic, European, Pan African etc sports events.

Cambridge, Ielts 3 past papers, p.28
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