parkruns are free, socially focused, volunteer-led 5k events that take place at 9:30am every Saturday in 80 different parks and open spaces across Ireland, and are open to people of all ages. A further 15 junior parkruns are held on Sunday mornings for 4-14 year-olds and their families. parkruns and junior parkruns encourage walkers and runners of all abilities, with 120,000 people in Ireland having taken part since the first event was launched in 2012, with 16,000 people volunteering.
Gaisce – The President’s Award is a personal development programme for young people aged between 15 and 25. There are four elements of the Gaisce award: Community Challenge, Personal Challenge, Physical Challenge and Team Challenge (adventure journey). All elements must be completed at each level, bronze, silver and gold to achieve the awards.
At the official launch of the partnership, Matt Shields, Country Manager for parkrun Ireland stated that “parkrun Ireland is pleased to be partnering with Gaisce as one of its official Challenge Partners. parkrun is one of Ireland’s largest providers of free physical activity and volunteering opportunities, and we believe that becoming an official partner of Gaisce will encourage more young people to get involved with their local parkrun event as walkers, runners and volunteers.”
This sentiment was reiterated by Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award said “Physical activity and community involvement are both core elements of the Gaisce programme so we are delighted to be announcing our partnership today and to officially launch parkrun Ireland as a Gaisce Challenge Partner. Gaisce – The President’s Award is one of the most prestigious awards a young person in Ireland can achieve and is recognised nationally and internationally. By signing up to the Gaisce Club with parkrun, young people will be able to fulfil elements of their Gaisce award, either by running, jogging or walking in one of the many events organised by parkrun around the country or by volunteering at one of these events.”
Gaisce participants can participate with Park Run for (a minimum) of an hour a week to fulfil the requirements for ONE of their Gaisce activities (Personal Skill, Physical Recreation or Community Involvement). How participation with Park Run would meet the requirements for each activity is shown here:
- Personal Skill: Gaisce participants can participate in planning organising, and supporting weekly Park Runs.
- Physical Recreation: Gaisce participants can take part in weekly Park Runs (although every participant will complete a Park Run in a different time, the overall participation in the event including pre and post-race stretching and warm ups are included and contribute towards a Gaisce participants weekly hour of activity).
- Community Involvement: Gaisce participants can assist in supporting weekly Park Runs.
N.B. Participation of one hour per week with Park Run can only be used to meet the requirements for ONE Gaisce activity (Personal, Physical or Community).
Find out more about parkrun at parkrun.ie