On Saturday 16th November 2019, Gaisce – The President’s Award held a special Civic Merit Award Ceremony, in recognition of 28 President’s Award Leaders from all over Ireland who have graciously supported young people to achieve their potential. The Civic Merit Ceremony took place at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Gaisce’s Civic Merit Award Ceremony honours President’s Award Leaders who have supported young people to take part in the Gaisce programme for more than five years. The ceremony was MC’d by Gold Awardee Jamie Moore and the guest speaker on the night was Irish sports commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh.
Speaking about the Civic Merit Awardees, Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award said, “Gaisce are delighted to celebrate the work of our President’s Award Leaders. We could not empower young people to realise their potential without them. Our President’s Award Leaders truly are the lifeblood of the Gaisce programme.”
She continued, “Five years is a big milestone, and the time and hours given by you all collectively is enormous. Incalculable, however, is impact you have all had on the lives of young people in Ireland, an impact that will continue to be felt long after they have received their Gaisce award”.
A special message from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins was read by Chair of Gaisce – The President’s Award John Cunningham, “I thank you for the generous support you offer to the many young people who, every year, undertake the Gaisce journey. That is a greatly empowering journey on which you all play an important part, impacting positively on the development of so many of our younger citizens.”
Gaisce – The President’s Award is a personal development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges.
Since its inception in 1985 over 178,000 young Irish people have completed a Gaisce Award, including former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh and Irish rugby international Robbie Henshaw.