Some people think that governments should ban dangerous sports, while others think people should have freedom to do any sports or activity. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
The media commonly provide a barrage of news about dangerous sports, because the deaths and injuries associated with them often make for spectacular headlines. As a result, some people have claimed that all extreme sports should be banned, although I would argue that such a policy would be out of all proportion to the real risks involved.
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Those in favour of prohibiting people from taking part in dangerous sports tend to focus on the risk element. Even when individuals may be physically and mentally prepared to participate in extreme sports activities, and even when they have all the right equipment, the dangers are ever-present. For example, few sports are as challenging and fraught with danger as BASE jumping. Participants hurl themselves off cliffs or tall buildings, and few escape without suffering severe bruising or acute abdominal pains which normally last for several days. In addition, although sports equipment rarely malfunctions, this may still happen and the consequences may be fatal – such as a BASE jumper’s parachute failing to deploy. The supporters of legislation to ban dangerous sports argue that such tragic outcomes not only affect the individual victims, but also leave mental scars which their families then have to live with for the rest of their lives.
However, I support the view of those who contend that participation in extreme sports must be a matter of personal choice. Firstly, overcoming physical challenges may be a springboard for positive personal transformation. It may make a person stronger and more determined, and the experience may be a life-changing one. Secondly, the rigours of preparation in order to take part in mountain-climbing, white-water rafting or other such extremely strenuous activities demonstrate that an individual is in peak health and physical condition. Finally, there is an ethical aspect which dictates that a person should have the freedom to pursue the challenges which they set themselves, even though this may involve a level of risk that others might find unacceptable.
In conclusion, while acknowledging the real risks, I would defend the right of any individual to take part in the extreme sport of their choice.