February 18, 2020

Gaisce, is a self-development programme for young people aged 15-25 and is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people to dream big and realise their potential. Gaisce is a great way of boosting confidence, communications and leadership skills – some of the most valued skills by employers and is a great addition to a young person’s CV. 

There are three levels of Gaisce – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The more time and energy you give, the greater the reward! By taking part in Gaisce, you will take on exciting personal, physical and community challenges and develop new skills and new friendships.

Swim Ireland is proud to be a Gaisce Challenge Partner.  This means that a lot of your activities in our organisation is recognised by Gaisce as a relevant activity that counts towards achieving a Gaisce Award.

 Gaisce ‘Your Way – Your Award’

The Gaisce journey is a very personal one; young people are encouraged to design their own challenges and work through them at their own pace.  Swim Ireland can support activity in 3 of the 4 Gaisce challenge areas and we have put together some examples to inspire you to create your own personal, water themed Gaisce journey!

Community – You can volunteer in one of our outreach community participation programmes, supporting our leaders and teachers to deliver programmes and events such as mini-polo, aqua-fit, learn to swim etc. Or you might volunteer in a Swim Ireland Club, helping to organise events such as local club fundraising activities or club galas

Personal Skill – You might want to train to be a Referee or Official in Diving, Water Polo or Swimming.  We will provide any GAISCE participant a free place on an official’s training course and can link you up with event organisers to ensure you get opportunities to develop your skills. Or you might want to take part in the Club Captains in Youth Sport Programme, a great way to develop your leadership skills. Or you could take a Level 1 Teacher or Coach. There is a wide range of activities available to you throughout the organisation.

Physical Challenge – For those of you who are already involved in our clubs, how about taking up another aquatic discipline e.g. Water Polo, as a physical challenge; or set yourself a demanding training goal, maybe take up Open Water swimming and challenge yourself to swim in the sea at least twice a week over the summer. You could also take up the Swim for a Mile challenge, as an individual or in a relay, and set yourself a target time to complete the swim.

These are just some ideas. The Gaisce journey is yours to plan and we will support you in any way we can. So how to begin?   

Starting Your Gaisce Journey

The first step on your journey is to contact a President’s Award Leader (PAL) who will guide you through what you need to do to register for a Gaisce Award and will agree the activities with you.  There are PALs located in schools, colleges and community groups throughout the country and in every county.  Their role is to support and assistant participants in achieving their Awards. If you need help finding a PAL in your local area contact Gaisce.ie.

For young people in Northern Ireland, under a Joint Award Initiative, if you fulfil the requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award framework you can choose to receive an International Award, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award or a Gaisce Award.

Swim Ireland would also love to hear about your challenges and if you would like to share your experience with us drop us an email to gaisce@swimireland.ie

Best of Luck!

Gaisce Flyer