Tax Payers Money Should Be Used To Fund Top Sportsmen and Women
Should the state use tax-payers’ money to support top sportsmen and women?
Please cast your vote after you've read the arguments.
You can also add to the debate by leaving a comment at the end of the page.
Being a top sportsman or woman means hours of training every day in order to become the very best. ...
Being a top sportsman or woman means hours of training every day in order to become the very best. It is not possible to train in this way while working in a normal job. Athletes can only train full time if they are paid to do so, and given the best equipment and coaching. If we want to see top athletes competing at the highest level, we must be prepared for our governments to pay for it out of our taxes.
It is not the job of the state to fund sporting success. Even if governments wanted to give money away to top athletes, they have so many more important things to spend our taxes on – like education, health and security. A better way to fund top sportsmen is through the free market. If you are good enough at popular sports like football, tennis, basketball, boxing and cricket, then people will pay to see you and you can become very rich. If you are not talented enough, or your sport isn’t one people will pay to watch, why should the government give you money?
Putting government money into top level athletics promotes sport in general. Successful athletes ar...
Putting government money into top level athletics promotes sport in general. Successful athletes are good role models for young people. Medal winning success at the Olympics and World Championships can encourage more people to take part in sport. Part of any government’s job is to promote good health, so they should put money into anything which encourages more people to have an active lifestyle.
There is no evidence that sporting successes leads to more ordinary people taking up sport. In fact, when an Olympics or World Cup is on, most people spend much longer in their chair in front of the television, so they end up being less active! There is some research showing that a few people are inspired to take up new sports, but these are the sporty ones already – it simply affects what sport they choose. Better to spend the money on directly increasing mass participation by funding local sports clubs and facilities, sport in schools, etc.
International sport is good for national spirit, helping to unite a country in support of its team a...
International sport is good for national spirit, helping to unite a country in support of its team and athletes. And sporting success boosts national pride and happiness, as well as making the country more respected around the world. All these are good reasons why governments should put money into producing sporting stars who can win medals in world competitions.
Nationalism is not necessarily a good thing as it can be used to justify and strengthen undemocratic governments. It can also increase rivalry and bad feeling between countries. And when sporting success gets mixed up with government targets, bad things can happen. In the past state-funded programmes in places like East Germany and North Korea have put young athletes under great pressure, with training programmes that were so tough children suffered lasting physical damage. They also missed out on a normal childhood and education. Many were fed drugs to make them perform better “for the good of the country”.
Sport is popular entertainment, enjoyed by millions on television and at live events. Why shouldn’t...
Sport is popular entertainment, enjoyed by millions on television and at live events. Why shouldn’t the government pay a tiny amount of its whole income to make sure that the sport we watch is as good and as entertaining as possible? Public opinion in Britain is generally very happy about some lottery income being spent on producing sporting excellence.
If governments fund top athletes, money ends up going to sports with little popular following. Sports that many people play and want to watch, such as cricket, football, basketball and tennis do not need government money as they are able to sell tickets and television rights to fund their athletes’ pay. So taxpayers’ money for elite athletes instead channels money to minority sports such as track cycling, rowing, sailing and horse-riding., etc.
Using state funding to produce top athletes is the only way to produce sporting success today. Othe...
Using state funding to produce top athletes is the only way to produce sporting success today. Other nations will put money into sport anyway - we have to do so too to keep up with them or our athletes will be at a disadvantage.
State funding is not the only way to be successful. The USA doesn’t have government-funded sport but thriving and competitive school and college athletics programmes. Some argue that getting government money can make athletes soft – they will train harder if they have to fund themselves from prize money or have to obtain private sponsorship. State funding is also unfair to developing countries who cannot afford to spend millions on a few top sportspeople. Isn’t it against the sporting and Olympic spirit to try to buy your way to gold medals?
We should reward those talented men and women who are prepared to devote years of gruelling training...
We should reward those talented men and women who are prepared to devote years of gruelling training to becoming the best they can be. They often have to give up rewarding careers to train full-time, and rely on their families to support them financially. This puts some very gifted athletes off making their sport their whole life. If the government provided more support, then maybe more people would take the step of training full-time to achieve their true potential.
State funding often means that taxes (and lottery ticket money) paid by poorer people end up going to quite well-off sportspeople. Many well-funded sports are socially elite – only children from well-off backgrounds usually get to try rowing, sailing, horse-riding or fencing in the first place.
What do you think?