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IELTS Sports Vocabulary

We all have a relationship with sport: we might watch it, play it or try our best to avoid it. Because it’s such an important subject you may find yourself being asked questions about sport in the IELTS Speaking exam.Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you do any sports?
Loiuse: Not really … no … I always say I’m going to take up exercise and try to get into shape but I never seem to get started … I sometimes wonder whether  I should get a personal trainer … someone who will sort out a fitness program for me and make me train hard ….

Examiner: How do you spend a typical weekend?
Stella: I’m a big football fan and weekends always centre around a football match … I support FC Utrecht and have a season ticket so I go to most of the home games and quite a few of the away games too  … I’m really looking forward to the new football season starting soon …

Examiner: Have you got any hobbies or interests?

Theo: Yes … I’m really keen on sports … I do judo once a week and play tennis in the summer … I think it’s really important to keep fit … it makes you feel good and energized for work and your studies ….

Part 2-style task

Describe a place you like going to in your leisure time. You should say:

  • what this place is

  • when you go there

  • what you do there

and say why you enjoy it there so much.

Maurice:  I’d like to talk about my local sports centre … it’s a place I spend a lot of time in  … it’s a new building with all the latest sports facilities … I probably go there at least twice a week … sometimes more often … it’s a huge place … there’s an outdoor athletics track and some football pitches … I play football so I’m often out there … there are several indoor squash and tennis courts that I use occasionally … a big swimming pool … although I don’t use that very often … I’m not a very strong swimmer … there’s a gym … lots of things really … why do I enjoy going there … it’s just a really fun place to be … there’s a good social side to it all … you can enter competitions … meet up with other people who want to do the same sports … and because there are so many activities on offer it gets you interested in different things … for example I was listening to some people talking about training to run the marathon and I’ve decided I might even think about that … I go jogging a couple of times a week so it would give me something to aim for … so yes … the sports centre … that’s the place I really like to visit …

Part 3-style questions

Examiner: Should people be encouraged more to take up sport?
Alejandro: I think young people should be given the chance to discover which sport they might like … watching sport is sometimes a good way to get people started … not on TV but actually getting out … take athletics for example … they could go to an athletics meeting … there are so many different sports on show one might interest them …

Examiner: Why do some people enjoy participating in sport more than others?
Florrie: That’s a good question … I suppose some people are more concerned about their health … they can’t stand the thought of being out of condition … other people might be driven to excel … they want to set records or get personal bests …

Examiner: Which sports do you think are best for people who aren’t used to physical activity?
Julie: Well … I think people like this should avoid strenuous exercise so things like circuit training are definitely out of the question … maybe just doing a brisk walk every day … or swimming is always a good way to get started …

Definitions

  • an athletics meeting: an event where various athletics sports are held

  • an athletics track: a running track

  • an away game: a football match played in the opposing teams stadium

  • a brisk walk: a fast walk

  • to do judo: (not go or play)

  • a football fan: someone who likes football

  • a fitness program: a schedule of activities to keep fit

  • a football match: a game of football

  • a football pitch: the surface on which you play football (as opposed to a stadium, which is the building)

  • a football season: a period in the year when football is played

  • to get into shape: to become fit

  • to go jogging: to run around the streets

  • a home game:  a football match played in the teams own stadium

  • to keep fit: to stay in good physically condition

  • to be out of condition: to not be physically fit

  • a personal best: to achieve the best personal result so far in a sport

  • a personal trainer: a sports coach that helps you on a one-to-one basis

  • to play tennis/football: (not do or go)

  • to run the marathon: to run a distance of 42.195 Kilometers

  • a season ticket: a ticket that gives you entry to most of a team’s home games during the sporting year.

  • to set a record: to achieve the best result in a sport

  • a sports centre: a public building where people can do various sports

  • sports facilities: the equipment and services needed to do a sport

  • a squash/tennis/badminton court: the surface where you play these sports

  • strenuous exercise: exercise that needs a lot of physical effort

  • a strong swimmer: a good swimmer

  • a swimming pool: the place where you swim

  • to take up exercise: to start doing exercise

  • to train hard: to train with a lot of effort

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