Gaisce - the President's Award
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.
Gaisce was introduced to Coláiste Rís in 2008. In the first year 14 participants achieved the bronze award. Transition year provides the perfect opportunity for pupils to complete the Bronze award by completing 13 weeks of involvement in sport, a personal skill and the community. Pupils then complete a two day overnight challenge in the outdoors. Pupils may continue the award to complete Silver or gold standard if they so wish.
Gaisce challenges pupils to commit to tasks for a period of 13 or 26 consecutive weeks. It rewards them for achievement in their non academic abilities. The award places responsibility with the pupil so that they can be proud of their individual accomplishments. Pupils who have achieved the award say they improved in a skill such as playing an instrument and have become fitter through regular exercise. The most notable change is usually found with the community involvement. Pupils often see an aspect of the community they may not have noticed before. The experience of giving their time without expecting anything in return became the most rewarding part for most pupils.