The Réadóirí Talent Competition
The Réadóirí Talent Competition is co-ordinated by the national leisure committee and brings the nations budding talent to the stage and produces a very high standard of competition. The variety of gifts, skills and abilities on display from both young and old is often breathtaking.
The Réadóirí Talent Competition consists of 14 categories that include different types of Irish/Disco Dancing, Dramas, Singing, Poetry Recitations, Music and Pageants.
There are Junior and Senior age categories. Competition begins in October with local and regional finals and concludes in February with provincial finals and the All Ireland Final.
For those interested in proving their general knowledge and expertise in a variety of subjects and topics, the All-Ireland Quiz and Super Brain Competition organized by the national leisure committee is a must. This competition takes place annually in the Spring.
The categories include
- Under 13 yrs & Under 16 yrs,
- Young Pioneer (Under 27yrs),
- Senior Quiz and Super Brain.
The National Ball is the highlight of the Pioneer social calendar which is held in the springtime. It is open to Pioneers and friends of Pioneers who are over the age of 17 years. Each year the event is held in a different province.
The evening begins with a Mass in a local Church, followed by a meal for around 300 people. There are usually a number of speakers including the President of the PTAA, an organizing committee member and a Special Guest Speaker such as a TD, Minister, Celebrity or well known Personality. The evening concludes with a Band & Disco until late in the night with singsongs in the lobby until even later.
Spiritual events are an important part of Pioneer activity. These happen at local, regional and national level and include annual masses for each centre, retreats and the annual pilgrimage to Knock.
The Gradam awards recognise excellence in Pioneer centers and provide awards on an annual basis to centers that are felt to demonstrate excellence in their activities.
In all, there are nine areas of excellence to be assessed before the Gradam Merit Award is recommended. The nine areas include the following:
- Membership and Recruitment at Juvenile, Junior, Youth and Full Pioneer levels and the maintenance of enrolment and minute books. Centers are recommended to carry out a census of Pioneers of all categories within their parishes. (10 points)
- Spiritual and Liturgical Activity and Participation, e.g., Masses, retreats, pilgrimages, religious events, organised locally and participation in spiritual and liturgical ceremonies at Regional and Diocesan levels. (10 points).
- Leisure Activities, e.g. participation in Réadóirí and Quiz competitions, attendance at the National Ball, the Pioneer Annual Concert and the organising of local social functions and outings. (10 points).
- Youth Participation, i.e., promotion of the Pioneer in local schools, election of Centre Youth Officer, committe/council members under 27 years of age and participation in Youth Seminars, Sports and other events organised by the National Youth Committee (20 points).
- Participation in Regional and Diocesan Councils including support for spiritual, leisure and youth events organised at these levels. The sponsoring of new Centers and the reactivating of lapsed ones will merit extra points. (10 points).
- Sale and promotion of the Pioneer Magazine, Calendar, Christmas Cards and other Pioneer publications to members and non-members. (10 points).
- Support for National P.T.A.A. Fundraising, i.e., National Collection, Raffle, Private Member’s Draw, Temperance Sunday Cake Sale, etc. (10 Points).
- Pastoral Support for Victims of alcohol and drug addiction including the promotion of drug and alcohol awareness programmes in the local schools and throughout the parish. (10 Points).
- Involvement of Pioneers in Local Community including participation in local parish, sports, cultural and social (voluntary) bodies (10 points).
In order to qualify for the Gradam Merit Award a Centre must get 40% in each area and 60% overall. A panel of three assessors will visit the Centre (applicant) during the months of September, October and November. All active Centers are encouraged to apply for the Gradam. A specially embroidered Pennant and Certificate of Achievement will be presented to successful applicants.