On Thursday 9th October a number of St. Aidan's students who had completed their Gaise Bronze Award were presented with their awards in a special ceremony. The students involved had worked very hard throughout the last school year to complete challenges in 4 main areas:
These students will now progress towards earning their Gaisce Silver Award and we are all very proud of them. Below, 6th year student, Amy Byrne, outlines what taking part in the Gaisce (President's Award) Programme meant to her.
My name is Amy Byrne and during 5th year, I took part in Gaisce. I would like to share with you my experience as I journeyed through this challenging adventure, surrounded by so many motivated and supportive friends.
I took part in Gaisce for many reasons; to challenge myself, grow in confidence and meet new people. It’s a pleasure to say I have been successful in all of these areas.
Each member was asked to do 13 weeks of a sport, community service and a skill plus an additional 13 weeks of one of these. I took up walking for an hour each day, helping out in St. Aidan’s CS City Farm and being secretary for our Yellow Flag Committee. I knew each week would be tough and in order to achieve my goal, I needed to be determined, committed and motivated.
Day by day, as I made more and more progress, I realised the benefits from Gaisce and how it was no longer a task but a fun way to grow as a person and give back to others.
When our 26 weeks were complete, the last thing on our list was the 25km hike. Although we were excited for our overnight stay in Glendalough, we knew there was a challenge ahead. It was a struggle but that made it more worthwhile when we got to the end! After the hike, we stayed in a house in Glendalough valley. There was no television, no phone reception or wi-fi but we didn’t miss it and in actual fact, it gave us a great chance to get to know each other and chat all night. It was such a laugh!
I would encourage other students to take part in Gaisce as there are endless benefits. It might seem hard at the start but my advice to you is to keep going and push through even when it seems difficult.
The satisfaction of completing my bronze award was overwhelming and it’s not just an award we gained from this journey. We walk away from the programme with long lasting friends and memories to treasure forever too! I have gained so much from this experience and I can’t wait to yet again adventure through this journey as I prepare to achieve my silver Gaisce Award in 6th year.
By Amy Byrne (6th Year)