IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 405 - Why do people take part in dangerous sports
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IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some sports are extremely dangerous but many people still like them very much. Why do people take part in dangerous sports? Give some suggestions on how to deal with these dangers.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer 1:
No doubt, everything in life has two sides, the good and bad. Sports are just another example, in some cases, it can be life-threatening, but still, a lot of people find it very enjoyable. I guess the pleasure overcomes the danger, especially if it is assessed and controlled.
Dangerous games are sometimes very alluring and have a large amount of prize. People like to watch thrilling sports and those short of games are often taken as challenges. Those are the main reasons people participate in dangerous games even after knowing the consequences.
To control such threats, standardisation must take place to put some guiding rules to decide whether a person is fit or not to practice a sport of danger nature, also to highlight environmental conditions needed to practice it safely to both practitioner and spectators, a good example would be the rally racing. Cars have to be inspected very carefully for mechanical failures by a highly qualified teams prior and during the laps, a very close monitoring for the road to avoid any obstacles that may cause harm or damage, also the car itself from the design point of view, has to be safe to the driver against potential accidents that may contain front or side hits and in most cases extreme flips or fire.
Another clear example would be diving, a very enjoyable experience but dangerous and needs good preparation. Extensive training should take place in a simulated environment like a swimming pool before actual diving into deep water, equipment has to be tested, a dive location readiness to be briefed prior to the dive and a common language to use underwater to communicate different basic sentences.
In conclusion, it is safe to practice any sport you like with enough planning and adequate training, no matter how dangerous it is, you just have to measure the risks and get over it with gradual skill improvements.
[ by - Mohamed Shokry ]
Sample Answer 2:
Sport is a very important thing in our life. It plays an integral role in keeping our health safe as well as it contributes to human personality. There are many types of sports, for example, fighting sports, water sports, single and team sports. Some of these sports are dangerous like mixed martial arts and mountain climbing.
Many people prefer these dangerous sports and keep practising them regularly. I think they love to do so because they may fell a sort of lack of confidence, so they try to maintain this point through doing these dangerous sports. Besides that, some people may have problems in dealing with others as they might be treated in an impolite and crude ways, so they need learn and practice fighting sports to be able to defend themselves. The most striking feature, in my opinion, is the stress in addition to the negative energy that many people have, they need to release their stress by practising dangerous sports as windsurf for instance.
I tend to see that, those people should be trained well by professional coaches before they start playing these to minimise any danger that may occur during this practice. Also, some restrictions should be done for these sports and they should be related to age, as the small children and young ages should be avoided from practising this kind of sports because they may still young to deal with their dangerous.
Last but not least, governments and the concerned regulatory authorities should set rules to guide and control practising of these dangerous sports, as one their responsibilities is to keep their citizens safe.
[ by - Waleed Hassanain ]
Sample Answer 3:
There are many extreme sports today such as the high-speed car or bike racing, mountain climbing and water sports. Despite many risks associated with these sports, many people love them because of their adventure and risk loving attitude, to feel the sense of achievement and to attain celebrity status thereby earning money through sponsorships. Since these risks come with a price tag, they need to take several precautions while playing these sports like, following strict safety measures, learning from the experience of others and joining a group rather than attempting them individually.
Many people today are ambitious because of the said reasons. For example, the number of people today trying to climb Mount Everest is on the rise. It makes them stronger mentally and physically by handling life-threatening risks such as avalanche. Apart from these reasons, some like this type of sports to earn celebrity status. Once they earn this privilege, they are respected by society and organisations pay them to become brand ambassadors. For example, a recent Mt. Everest climber has been selected as an icon of famous trekking equipment maker.
While adrenaline-rising sports are good, several precautions need to be taken while participating in them. Safety measures are most important because life is at stake. Having safety devices at reach can save one from serious injuries. Another easiest and suggested approach is to read blogs or books of people who succeeded and failed while trying them. It helps to form a list of what and what not to do. When these games are tried in a group, they can help each other during accidents and whenever an obstacle struck.
In summary, as risks are associated with a price tag, strict precautions need to be in place to stay alive.
[ by - Sandeep ]
Sample Answer 4:
People are becoming more and more care-free and can go way out of the ordinary when it comes to the risky sports. Because of the fame and the monetary reward that some unsafe sports provide, it has been common practice among many sports professionals to go to the extremes of the risk limits. Below paragraphs shall discuss reasons why people dare to choose these sports, following recommendations to safeguard against such dangers.
There are several reasons why many people like threatening sports. The abundant amount of monetary income and an astonishing fame allowing them to become the global celebrities are some of the main reasons which in turn lead to adrenalin rush among the sports professionals to participate in unsafe sporting activities. The racing drivers are the people who daily undergo such a high-risk conditions, for instance, however, they are willing to do it repeatedly due to the rewards that they receive through this.
Safety measures and standard instructions are always there in place for the majority of the mincing sports when it comes to practising them. Firstly, sports person should train oneself under experienced coach, which will help to get an overall idea about dangers associated with the particular sport. Secondly, a person ought to take proper precautions according to standard guidelines outlined. For instance, racing drivers should always wear the fire-proof jackets to better protect from the fire accidents. Finally, these kinds of activities should be performed after the careful inspection of a sporting venue and the sports equipment by safety experts.
In conclusion, many people like to participate in life-threatening sports activities for various reasons like money, popularity etc. However, one should be circumspect about the dangers of such activities and better follow safety guidelines and train well in advance before practising them. Also, governments can define some safety norms for unsafe sports.
[ by - Noghan ]
Sample Answer 5:
Some sports have a high level of risk. However, individuals still enjoy these activities due to their high adrenaline level and their popularity. In my opinion, it is still possible to handle with these dangers by using proper equipment.
Firstly, some people like to be at risk by their nature.They like to take part in activities, which they cause adrenaline in their bodies.They believe it is the most enjoyable thing to do in life. For example, my friend John is a Professional boxer. His nose is broken twice in competitions. Although he gets hurt badly, he believes he can not quit boxing due to high adrenaline level. This is one of the major reasons why people like to be a part of risky sports.
Secondly, dangerous are quite popular in our societies. Since it has become common, some individuals like to be on the stage. For instance my cousin Graham is a rally racer. He mentions that his activity helps him get attentions, especially among opposite sex. Therefore he keeps on joining to risky exhibitions.
In my opinion, these dangers can be controlled with appropriate tools.There are many products in order to protect people. For example in Ice Hockey, manufacturers are creating strong helmets against hard hits. They are testing these products under the laboratory conditions, moreover, they use extremely hard materials like fibre-plastic as a contributor.
In conclusion, it is a fact that people are going to continue to attend dangerous sports events because of their desire to adrenaline and popularity. I believe self-protection can be provided by choosing correct equipment.
[ by - Noghan ]
But it isn’t really the danger factor that marks out extreme sports. According to Nicholas Heyworth from Sports England, many are less dangerous than traditional sports: ‘Statistically, the most dangerous sport is horse riding.’ One ‘aggressive skating’ website warns you to ‘Skate safe, because pain and death suck!’, and another cliff jumping website is packed with disclaimers and warnings, such as ‘don’t drink and jump’, ‘never jump alone’ and ‘know your limits’. Heyworth notes that ‘many extreme sports guys have got safety equipment up to their eyeballs, and a complete safety team. You would be lucky to get a cold sponge and a bucket of water at a Sunday league rugby match’. A helicopter packed with medical equipment tracks participants in the Verbier Extreme.
Improvements in equipment allow the reduction in risk and pain. In the 1960s, skydiving was done by penniless daredevils using surplus US airforce chutes. One veteran recalls: ‘It hurt like hell and you drifted mercilessly at the will of the wind until you crashed to the ground and it hurt like hell again.’ (3) Now, he says, there are ‘high-income jumpers who not only make eight jumps a day, but pay someone to pack their parachutes’. Even the most extreme of extreme sport pales into comparison beside the exploits of the early climbers and explorers, for whom the risks were great and the outcomes unknown. The advert for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-17 Trans-Antarctic expedition read: ‘Men wanted: For hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.’
Much of the hype about extreme sports comes not from the participants, but from the industry that surrounds it. Extreme sport goods - including TV programmes, graffiti art, design, drinks, and clothing - are a bigger business than the sports themselves. The Extreme Sports Channel has an estimated audience of 20million across Europe, most of whom wouldn’t go anywhere near a half-pipe - it’s popular among Portuguese women, for example.
The Extreme Media Group sells a range of clothing and drinks. The ‘Extreme energy’ drink is formulated to ‘deliver an intense physical and mental energy boost’, using Asian fermented tea, Siberian ginseng and guarana (a natural form of caffeine). There is even ‘Extreme water’ (‘the pure artesian mineral water from the Rockhead source in Buxton, will rehydrate you fast’), and Extreme Chillout (‘new gen soft drink created to aid relaxation, recovery and all round chilling’) (4). Meanwhile, there is an X-Games brand of mobile phone: ‘Carry the excitement and attitude of X Games with you everyday. The tweaked out phone allows devoted fans to capture the signature style and personality of the X Games in a wireless phone.’ (5)
But it’s not all image. Beneath the hype, lifestyle sports are a new kind of sport for a new age. While traditional sports elevated the values of commitment and fair play, these new sports offer individuals a more personal kind of challenge.
Sport: from team to individual
Most traditional sports were institutionalised in the final decades of the nineteenth century. Prior to that, sport had been more informal, with the different teams in a rugby match deciding on the rules at the start of the game. Indeed, many sports were just a more or less organised form of fighting: early ‘football’ involved neighbouring villages scrapping over a pig’s bladder.
As the historian Eric Hobsbawm outlines in The Invention of Tradition, institutionalised sport provided a gel for an industrialising society. Factory owners set up football teams for their workers (Arsenal was the team of London gun-makers), to tie them into the firm and provide an outlet for aggression. Meanwhile, the ruling class formalised its own sports - tennis, golf, and rugby union - which Hobsbawm describes as a ‘conscious…effort to form a ruling elite’. Business was done on the tennis court and golf course, and the values of sportsmanship and fair play became the signature tunes of the British elite.
Now that class and community identity is on the wane, traditional sporting associations have suffered. A boys’ football team, for example, requires parents as volunteer helpers, and for each member of the team to play by the rules and turn up for practice. Professor Neil Ravenscroft, a research fellow at the University of Brighton, tells me that ‘Volunteers to run sport outside of school are declining. And young people have less commitment to the idea that you adhere to sets of rules that are not yours, and turn up to training regularly’.
Lifestyle sports provide more individualised ways of pushing yourself. There is no winning and losing as such, and little organisation into teams or leagues. Each individual is really competing against himself: the founder of free running, Sebastien Foucan, said that the sport was about a ‘desire to overtake yourself’. How a free runner tackles the urban landscape is up to him. There are some established moves - a cat jump, speed vault, a palm spin, and so on - but you are always free to invent your own. This contrasts with sports such as gymnastics, when athletes have a certain time to perform, a set piece of equipment and a limited series of moves.
Extreme sports claim to be confronting authority. Rather than work within leagues and sporting bodies, participants say that they are doing it for themselves. Bandit canoeing goes down forbidden waterways, and off-piste snowboarding and skateboarding crash off set tracks. Free runners claim to challenge the official architecture of the city. Ez, who runs the east London free running academy, says: ‘I like the freedom aspect, the fact that every individual has their own way of overcoming. The average person will be guided by pavements, but with parkour you interact with obstacles, you won’t be guided by them.’
The only rules are those tacitly agreed by participants. A street basketball site or skateboarding half pipe will have a set of agreements about what’s allowed. At Brighton skateboarding park, for example, there are different times of the day for different abilities.
For some, lifestyle sports can be character developing. Once boys were sent out to freezing football and rugby fields to make men of them; now they might assault a half-pipe instead. They go at a jump again and again, falling off and picking themselves up until they can finally do it. In this way, you bear the consequences of your actions. One climber explained the attraction: ‘there must be something which can be won and something which can be lost. The winning can be the unutterable joy as your questing fingers latch a crucial edge. The losing can be life itself. Either way we choose.’ (6)
Extreme sports can also enable you to confront fears. Some free runners are scared of heights, yet will perform complicated leaps between high buildings. They still their minds before the jump, overcome the part of them that wants to balk. This isn’t about taking risks for the sake of it: instead, it’s the calculated judgement of the sportsman. Ez argues that free running ‘requires discipline to do it properly, which is transferred to other aspects of life’. Some claim that the thrill of the jump can cast the grind of everyday life into perspective. One young BASE-jumper says: ‘It’s the way to refresh things, to keep the mind awake. You have plenty of time to think about yourself, the mountain you stand on, your life, people you meet, things you’re doing.’
Of course, some people look to these new sports for easy thrills. They want the appearance of doing something ‘craaa-zy’ like skydiving or bungee jumping, while relying on the instructor to ensure that nothing goes wrong. But some participants want to put themselves to the test. This comes at a time when institutionalised sports are being tied up in regulation, with risk analysis required before every rugby game and players suing the referee if they get injured. In schools, kids are encouraged to go for non-cooperative games that reinforce everybody’s self-esteem. Lifestyle sports might provide an opportunity for some individuals to develop themselves.
The limits of extreme sports
Because lifestyle sports are so individualised, however, they are liable to go off in bizarre directions. Without social sanction and discipline, these sports can look like the more ridiculous parts of the Guinness Book of Records, with people riding bikes up trees or ironing up mountains. This is casting around, looking for something - anything - to test yourself.
These sports can also revel in individuals’ isolation, the fact that they don’t have to rely on anybody else. This is a limited form of subjectivity: in reality, we develop ourselves by working with and against others. Traditional sports provided a way for individuals to push themselves through the challenge of competition, or by working together as a team. A hundred-metre runner, for example, is trying to beat the other runners rather than just his PB - and this challenge takes him to new heights. Lifestyle sports can encourage a narcissistic focus on individual performance, rather than pushing the limits of human achievement.
There is something childish, too, about the desire to traverse official boundaries. Canoeing where you aren’t supposed to be canoeing, jumping where you’re not supposed to jump…this involves the guilty freedom of a child breaking the rules. Paradoxically, an obsession with breaking rules actually leaves you beholden to them.
Hype and reality
So there is both potential and limits to extreme sports. In order to understand the pros and cons, though, we have to cut through the hype that surrounds them. This hype owes less to the participants than to the extreme sports industry.
This industry makes the idea of ‘living on the edge’ into a consumer product. Deep down, we all feel that we should be pushing ourselves a bit more; the extreme sports industry sells the image of aspiration. Wear a ‘Just do it’ cap; drink a can of ‘Live life to the max’ Pepsi; talk on an X-Games mobile phone. This is about the appearance of living on the edge, posing at taking risks while actually doing nothing at all. In the passive act of buying a consumer good, you are offered thrills and spills. It’s not the real act of grappling with a challenge, but the image of ‘pushing it to the MAX’. This is why extreme sports are so hyped up: the adrenaline factor is sold in concentrated form.
Some of these new sports are little more than PR products. There are actually a tiny number of dedicated free-runners, and many of will only perform for the camera. The sport became a media phenomenon before it built up a decent base of participants; now it can be more for show than self-development. Extreme sports often have a short shelf life: they will be the in thing for a few months, but soon get overtaken by the next fad. XFL, an ‘extreme’ version of American football that was a mix of NFL and WWF wrestling, was set up in 2000, but folded after just one season (7).
So let’s put aside the extreme hype, and look at these sports as just another kind of sport. They offer some potential for individual development - although often only by leaping in odd directions.
(1) American Sports Data website
(2) Quoted in ‘Lifestyle sports and national sports policy: an agenda for research’
(3) You can buy a thrill: chasing the ultimate rush, American Demographics, June 1997 Vol 19, issue 6
(4) Extreme drinks
(5) X-Games mobile
(6) Quoted in ‘Lifestyle sports and national sports policy: an agenda for research’
(7) XFL - the history
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