Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Some people believe it is better for governments to spend any available money for sports on providing facilities for the general population. Others believe that instead they should invest in training top athletes to win major competitions.

Discuss both points of view and give your own opinion.

Governments usually allocate a portion of their budget to providing sports facilities such as stadiums in order for citizens to keep fit and healthy or for star athletes to train under the appropriate conditions in order to excel in important events.

The general public needs facilities for exercising and this ensures a healthy, happy, productive workforce. It is therefore the government’s responsibility to provide these services for free or at a low cost to keep its citizens fit, particularly the elderly, those with health problems and the obese. In doing so, the government will be helping a large number of people and not will not be regarded as being elitist by training top athletes only.

On the other hand, a country prides itself on its ability to thrive in competitions, for example by winning gold medals in the Olympic Games. In order to perform according to their best ability, athletes should have the necessary facilities. Countries that look after their athletes, like the USA, often have the corresponding facilities to train their sportspeople. Similarly, poorer countries that have not invested in sports infrastructure for their athletes are likely to not do well in the medal count.

In my opinion it is fairer to not discriminate between people and for the government to focus on spending money on the general public’s well-being. More people will benefit in this way. If the facilities provided are of a high quality, then top athletes will also be able to use them. What is more, taking part in a competition should be valued more that coming first.

Question taken from Focus on Skills for IELTS Foundation p.58
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