GAISCE, The President’s Award, held a special ceremony in St Peter’s in Cork on Tuesday to celebrate the achievements of young people from all over Munster.
The ceremony was held in celebration of students who have achieved their Gaisce Silver Award.
Among those honoured on the night were 36 young people from Cork. The young people hailed from Tess Training Centre in Bishopstown, Christ King Girls Secondary School, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Blarney, Scoil Mhuire in Cork city, Deerpark C.B.S on St Patrick’s Road, Coláiste Mhuire in Cobh, Colaiste Chriost Ri in Turners Cross and COPE Foundation, Montenotte.
The Cork students also heard from guest speakers who have achieved great feats.
Irish International Athlete Jessie Barr spoke at the event. The sport and performance psychologist said that it was ‘great to be part of such a wonderful celebration of young people’s achievements’.
“Through my work with athletes, I know there is perhaps no greater feeling than setting out a personal goal and reaching it,” she said. “I’m sure the level of commitment undertaken to attain a Silver Award only deepens the feeling of accomplishment. Congratulations to all Gaisce Silver Awardees being honoured tonight.”
Laura Philpott, a Cork native, was also a guest speaker. She is due to receive her Gold Award in December, which will be presented to her by President Michael D Higgins.
“As a Gold Gaisce Participant myself, I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of the Silver Awardees and excited to encourage them to go for their Gold Award.
“I really felt I benefited from my Gaisce journey, and know that many of the Silver Awardees being celebrated will feel the same about their journey so far.”
The awards were presented to the young people by Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce.
Speaking about the achievements of the awardees, Ms McKenna said sincere congratulations were in order. “I heartily congratulate this evening’s awardees on their achievements.”
“Completing a Silver Gaisce Award has required a significant amount of dedication and effort from each of them towards developing their skills, getting more involved in their communities, becoming more active and exploring their sense of adventure.”
“I would like to congratulate their wonderful President’s Award Leaders, who have guided them along their path to Silver. Our President’s Award Leaders truly are the lifeblood of the Gaisce programme, without whom there would be no Gaisce.”
“Today’s awardees aren’t only incredible ambassadors for Gaisce, but also their families and communities, whom I’m sure will incredibly proud of them today.”
In order to achieve the Gaisce Silver Award, participants have to work on three different challenge areas: personal skill, community involvement, and physical recreation, for at least 26 weeks.
Participants also have to undertake a three day adventure journey, incorporating either a 50km walk or a 190km cycle.
Since its inception in 1985, more than 178,000 young Irish people have completed a Gaisce Award, including former Rose of Tralee winner turned MEP Maria Walsh, and Irish rugby international Robbie Henshaw.