Gaisce, The President’s Award, is calling for young people from Cork to nominate themselves for the 33rd ‘Defence Forces Challenge’, which is taking place from June 2-5 this year. 

The ‘Challenge’ looks to test participant’s mettle, by presenting them with a rigorous four-day schedule filled with hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, and even taking on army assault courses. 

Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Gaisce, noted that the experience would give young people a ‘unique insight into military life first-hand’.

Referring to past ‘Defence Forces Challenge’ participant Grace O’Rourke, Ms McKenna said: “You never know where it might lead. Bronze Awardee Grace O’Rourke developed a huge interest in the Defence Forces after taking part in the challenge and ended up being the only female to complete RTE’s Special Forces: Ultimate Hellweek.”

The ‘Challenge’ aims to show young people what they can accomplish outside of their comfort zone, and Ms McKenna went on to explain that participants would also ‘develop skills, build confidence and create friendships and memories to cherish.’ 

To apply, Gaisce participants can fill out the online application form which is available at