1 You hear two friends talking about sport.
Female: Do you fancy doing something after school? We’re having a game of basketball in the park.
Male: OK, but I have to warn you that I’m a hopeless player.
Female: You can’t be that bad! I heard you were quite good, actually.
Male: Well, I might have been once. I did play for my local team a couple of years ago, but I haven’t played for ages.
Female: Well, don’t worry. It’s not a proper match. It’s just a bit of fun with a few friends. Anyway, who knows? You might get back to your old form.
Male: OK, why not?
2 You hear a professional tennis player talking on the radio.
All people ever ask me is whether I’ll be ready to play at Wimbledon this year. It’s the one championship event I don’t want to miss. Any player would feel the same. I also feel that I’m ready for the challenge of Wimbledon – and I’m confident that I can match the level of the top players. But I might not have the chance. Whether I’ll even get onto the courts or not really depends on my injured wrist. If I have to miss the event to get back to 100% form, then that’s what I’ll have to do. But it’s such a tough decision to make.
3 You hear a man talking about football.
What I really enjoy is the incredible atmosphere during a match. You can feel it in the crowd as they watch the players on the pitch. It’s hard not to get excited along with the fans when someone scores, but I have to be professional and just describe what’s happening. I must say that I like to think I can be quite impressive on the pitch myself if I have the chance of a game with my mates. But it’s great to see someone with such professional skill that they can use it to entertain others.
4 You hear a mother talking to a friend.
Mother: If you ask me, the whole thing’s designed to get young people to spend their money – or even worse, their parents’ money.
Male friend: Well, every time my son disappears into a shop selling sports clothes with designer labels my heart sinks. Everything’s so expensive and I can’t see that the clothes and trainers are that much different from what you can buy without the label.
Mother: You’re right. Everything falls to pieces sooner or later anyway. Must be the way it’s designed, I’m sure.
Male friend: I blame advertising. If it wasn’t for those advertisements, you wouldn’t even know what you’re supposed to be wearing.
5 You hear an advert for a canoeing holiday.
If you don’t like lying on a beach doing nothing, then Swedish Canoeing holidays might be for you. You don’t need to be an expert canoeist, although it might be easier if you’ve done a bit of canoeing before. With young people of a similar age, you can canoe round the numerous islands which surround Sweden. You can spend as long as you like exploring and camping. And they have such stunning scenery and wildlife. So if you’re the outdoor type and fancy something out of the ordinary, ring for a brochure now.
6 You hear a woman talking about a new sports stadium.
This was quite a nice area until they built this huge stadium. We never had to worry about parking. Now every weekend, and even during the week too, there’s nowhere to park and it can get very noisy – especially if there’s a late-night event. I know these places are necessary, and they do have all kinds of different events there – not just sport. But the benefits for the local people aren’t great. It’s so difficult to get tickets for anything – and they’re expensive. They ought to give local people priority, but no. So we have all the inconvenience and no advantages.
7 You hear a man talking about motorbikes.
I’d always wanted a motorbike, so when my parents bought a large farm, we bought one. I thought it might be great for travelling round and fun to ride. But I didn’t realise the ground was quite so hilly in places. And I didn’t feel very confident about using it on steep slopes. They say the bikes are safe, but they shouldn’t make statements like that. Motorbikes are different from cars – they respond quickly. Anyway, one day I was riding up a difficult hill when it suddenly tipped over. Luckily, I wasn’t badly hurt, but I might easily have been killed. I sold the bike quite soon after that and I’ve never been on one since!
8 You hear a teacher talking about sport.
I’m a great believer that all young people should do sports. It’s great physical exercise but that’s not the only point, in my opinion. A lot of people object to the sport because they think it’s too competitive. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just has to be managed properly. I think it’s one of the few things that helps young people to work together and rely on each other rather than just on themselves. This can be such a useful thing in adult life, and often the people who aren’t successful in life are those who didn’t enjoy sports when they were younger.