Gaisce participants join the Defence Forces for an action packed adventure

Stephen Briggs from Lucan, Dublin and Andrew Spring from Shankill, Dublin. Gaisce Participants Join the Defence Forces for an Action Packed Adventure. Pic: Michael Donnelly.

THIRTY young Gaisce participants from across Ireland began four days of hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and obstacle courses yesterday as they embarked on a four-day Defence Forces Adventure Challenge.

The young recruits are being put through their paces by personnel from the 2 Brigade Artillery Regiment of the Defence Forces, who will lead the Gaisce participants through a host of incredible adventure challenges, training and team-building exercises this week. The Defence Forces Adventure Challenge shows how young people can dream big and realise their full potential!

Defence Forces Spokesperson; Commandant Pat O’Connor reiterated this by saying “The foundation of all Defence Forces training is our values of Physical Courage, Moral Courage, Integrity, Selflessness, Loyalty and Respect. We hope that we can help to develop those values in the young people who take part of the Gaisce programme.” 

The challenge began yesterday at the Custume Barracks before moving to the Curragh and finishes on Friday after the participants have conquered Slieve Bloom. 

The young people taking part in this week’s challenge are all participants in Gaisce – The President’s Award, a self-development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. Each year over 20,000 young people across Ireland take part in Gaisce – The President’s Award.

Gaisce participants aged under 18 were invited to nominate themselves to be considered for the Defence Forces Adventure Challenge and the lucky recruits were chosen from a large number of young hopefuls. 

Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award said, “Gaisce – The President’s Award is delighted that, due to the generosity of the Defence Forces, 30 Gaisce participants are being given a unique opportunity to experience military life first-hand. Over the course of the next few days, these young men and women from all over Ireland, will push themselves to their limits. In the process, they’ll develop skills, build in confidence, learn as much about themselves as they will about military life, and create lifelong friendships and memories to cherish.”