You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Nowadays, young people admire sports stars though they often do not set a good example. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
In recent years there has been a growing tendency for the younger generation to look up to sports stars as role models. Although not all famous athletes set a good example, I believe that the majority do have a positive influence on the behaviour of youngsters.
From an individual perspective, an adolescent may idolise a well-known sportsperson who has many good qualities. No successful sports star makes it to the top without years of dedication to training and a healthy lifestyle. A youngster who seeks to emulate David Beckham or Serena Williams will be inspired to join a sports club and work out regularly at the gym as a step on the ladder of success. Other sportspeople have shown determination to overcome injuries or illness, another admirable quality that may motivate some young people to deal with such setbacks in their own lives. The Paralympic Games, for example, are watched on TV worldwide, and disabled youngsters can draw inspiration from athletes in wheelchairs or with artificial limbs competing at the highest level.
From a social perspective, there are many examples of sports stars who provide a moral lesson for youngsters to follow. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most idolised football superstars in the world, but he still finds time to support charity events and inspire his fans to join charitable campaigns. Even negative examples of sports stars who have cheated to reach the top serve as moral lessons for young people. The cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was found guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs, was publicly shamed, though he had once been a hero because of his personal fight against cancer.
In conclusion, youngsters are influenced in positive ways by their admiration for sports celebrities and the example of fitness, dedication and sometimes altruism set by those stars.
look up to [phrasal verb]: admire or respect someone.
idolise [verb]: admire someone very much.
make it to the top [expression]: be very successful.
emulate [verb]: try to do something as well as someone else who you admire.
work out [phrasal verb]: train the body through physical exercise.
admirable [adjective]: having qualities that you admire and respect.
setback [noun]: a difficulty or problem that delays something, or makes a situation worse.
draw inspiration from [expression]: be inspired by something to have new ideas or new ways of thinking, or to be creative.
charitable [adjective]: concerned with charities or helping people who are poor or in need.
reach the top [expression]: become very successful at something.
performance-enhancing [adjective]: things – such as drugs – that people take in order to be more successful in a sports competition.
shame [verb]: make someone feel that they have lost honour or respect.
altruism [noun]: the fact of caring about the needs and happiness of others more than your own.