“My Gold Award experience was challenging yet rewarding and has been a life changing experience for me.”
Gaisce Gold Awardee Aoife Buckley achieved her Gold Award in 2019 with Coláiste Treasa, Cork.
As part of our 35th Anniversary celebrations, Aoife contacted us via our Gaisce Story Portal to share her fondest moments of taking part in Gaisce – The President’s Award. Our Gaisce Story Portal helps us to collect and share the amazing stories and memories that our Participants, Awardees and PALs have had with Gaisce -The President’s Award during our 35 years.
During her Gaisce journey Aoife learned to play the harp, swam weekly and volunteered at her local bingo hall.
Aoife’s Adventure Journey saw her walk the unique route of the Camino De Santiago. She started in Sarria, Spain and walked all the way to Santiago, Spain. Over the course of five days, Aoife walked 113km. Describing her journey, Aoife said that she got “the opportunity to swap stories and learn a bit more about each other. From this opportunity I gained many lifelong friends which for me was one of the many great aspects of doing the Gaisce award.”
For her Residential Project, Aoife attended the Edinburgh International Harp Festival. The trip saw her stay in Merchiston Castle Boarding School in Edinburgh for 5 nights while taking daily harp classes. Thanks to her amazing skills playing the harp, Aoife was able to give a wonderful performance at the Gaisce Gold Award Ceremony in Dublin Castle in front Gaisce’s Patron, President Michael D. Higgins.
Speaking about her memories playing the harp, Aoife said that “taking lessons on the harp opened many doors for me in the musical industry. I have received many great opportunities including performing on stage in the National Concert Hall in the final of Siansa Gael Linn, as well as taking part in the I.A.Y.O.(Irish Association of Youth Orchestras) annual festival.”
Summarising her Gaisce experience in three words, Aoife said it was “challenging, rewarding and inspiring.”