Hannah Johnston, from Wicklow, received the prestigious Gaisce Gold Award from President Michael D. Higgins last Wednesday.
Hannah was amongst 55 young people across Ireland to receive the award in Dublin Castle. Overall, the participants dedicated more than 12,000 hours to receiving their awards.
Hannah started gymnastics at 4 years of age and continued to improve her practice during her Gold Award journey, training 3 hours a day, 3 days a week. Using her own experience, she coached children with the Sugarloaf Gymnastics club.
She also volunteered with the Dublin Diocese and travelled with a group of elderly and ill participants on their Lourdes pilgrimage for her Residential Project. For her Personal Skill Hannah learned how to knit, creating 25 hats for the Innocent Big Knit campaign supporting Age Action.
She walked 110km of the Camino in Spain from Sarria to Santiago over five days as part of her Adventure Journey.
President Michael D. Higgins addressed the audience, and said: “it gives me great pleasure to be here with you today to recognise the dedication, perseverance and generosity of our Gaisce Gold recipients, and to present 55 talented young people with their award.
“Today is a day on which you, your families and friends, your teachers and mentors, and all those who helped you on your path to the Gold Award, can justly feel very proud of your accomplishment.”
John Concannon, Chairman of Gaisce – The President’s Award, said: “I would like to congratulate all of those receiving their Gold Awards here today. They should be proud of all they have learned and achieved.
“I think it’s fair to say that the future of our country and communities will be in safe hands if these young people are leading it.”