Gaisce – the President’s Award is Ireland’s National Challenge Award, the country’s most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to young people between 15 and 25 years of age. The Award is a member of the International Award Association of National Challenge Awards Worldwide. There are 4 different challenge areas. To earn an award, students need to participate in each of the 4 challenge areas.
The four areas of participation are skill, community, physical and adventure, and each participant must take each section. Typical skill acquisition could include computer expertise, music, or learning to drive. A community initiative could be learning first aid and so help save a life. Physical muscles could be flexed in learning to swim, or a team sport, while the adventure section involves planning and taking part in an overnight outdoor activity such as hiking, cycling or canoeing.
In St Kieran’s College, at bronze level, students plan, prepare and undertake a 2 day, 1 night adventure journey covering walking a distance of 25km and canoeing 25km. In previous years we have travelled to Kenmare and stayed at Star Outdoors Centre on the waterfront of Kenmare Bay. In 2018, our students completed their awards in Mount Melleray.