Gaisce – the President’s Award is Ireland’s National Challenge Award for young people between 15 and 25 years of age. It is the country’s most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland to young people
There are three different types of award that you can earn: bronze, silver and gold.
Minimum Time: (Direct Entry Only ): 26 Weeks
Minimum Time: (Direct Entry Only ): 52 Weeks
Merit System for previous award holders: 26 weeks for Bronze Award Holders
Minimum Time: (Direct Entry Only ): 78 Weeks
Merit System for previous award holders: 52 weeks for Silver Award Holders
Gaisce in Our Lady’s Bower
We have a long tradition of Gaisce – the President’s Award in Our Lady’s Bower. Every year Transition Year students are given the opportunity to take on the Bronze challenge. Students who successfully achieve their Bronze Award in Transition Year can then complete their Silver challenges in 5 th Year.
Gaisce works on the basis of a personal challenge set by the student. You will set the challenge and agree it with your President’s Award leaders (PALs). You won’t be competing with other participants, as each challenge is completely individual – so the only person you’ll compete with is yourself. There are four challenge areas that must be completed:
- Personal Skill: learning or developing a skill e.g. playing a musical instrument
- Community Involvement: helping out a person or group in your community
- Physical Recreation: playing a sport or taking part in an exercise programme
- Adventure Journey: Going on an overnight trip, preparing and cooking a meal, and completing a hike.
The Adventure Journey
The main highlight every year is the Adventure Project. Bronze participants must complete a 25km hike over 2 days and Silver participants must complete a 50km hike over 3 days. This involves an overnight trip. While it can be physically challenging the girls always enjoy the team spirit.
What the students have to say about taking part in Gaisce :
“It taught me to be self-determined and I learned a lot about myself in the process”
“The adventure brought us together as a team. It showed me that I could take on a challenge and achieve it”
“There was a great sense of achievement when I reached the top of Croagh Patrick.”
“It gave me a more positive attitude about being active and getting involved in my community”
“After completing the Bronze I really wanted to go onto Silver – I wanted to feel that buzz of achievement again”
This student is now working on her Silver Medal
“By doing Gaisce, you make great friends and have loads of fun. It’s a wonderful feeling once you’ve helped your community, learned a new skill, and developed your personal fitness. Our Adventure weekend was an unforgettable experience and I would urge everyone to try it. Gaisce requires a lot of commitment, but it’s worth it in the end, so keep at it.” Katie Dunne (Prefect 2011-12) – Bronze and Silver Medallist
“It not just reaching a mountain top, or hiking for miles. It’s pushing yourself to do something different, to reach skyward and to go the long-mile.” Aideen Burke (Prefect 2011-12) – Bronze and Silver Medallist
“Challenge yourself, surprise yourself, Go for Gold” Dearbhla O’Dwyer (Head Girl 2011-12), Bronze and Silver Medallist
Dearbhla is currently working on her Gold Award – Best Wishes from all the PALs.