Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Creative Competition for Students to Promote Responsible Drinking and Develop ‘Real-Life’ Skills

Prize fund of €6,000 for revamped DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie –

It’s imperative that students gain ‘real-world’ experience in their chosen fields before graduating. That’s according to Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie, who was speaking today (04.11.13) at the launch of DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie, a competition for third-level students.

The competition began in 2007 with a focus on short films. This year, it has been revamped and expanded. It now offers students a chance to win €2,000 to implement a creative campaign aimed at promoting responsible drinking on their college campus.

Competition Format

In the first round, which is open for entries until 2nd December 2013, students are invited to submit their ideas for creative campaigns. Entrants who make it through to the second round will then receive funding to implement their campaign, and will get mentoring from industry experts, as well as a ‘celebrity champion’ who will support their team and attend events in their college.

Once all campaigns have been implemented, there will be a final gala showcase event. At this event, the shortlisted teams from Round 2 will have to pitch to a panel of high-profile judges, outlining the impact and success of their campaign. The overall winners will then be chosen live at the event. The winning team will receive prize-money of €3,000, while the next two best-placed teams will receive prizes of €2,000 and €1,000.

‘Real-Life’ Experience for Students

Speaking at today’s launch, Fionnuala Sheehan said the competition was revamped to provide greater benefits for the students who take part.

“In the past, DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie was confined to film and multimedia entries,” she said. “This year, we want to see entries for campaigns of any sort – so long as they promote responsible drinking. They could be events, marketing campaigns, websites, community-based initiatives, viral campaigns, online games and so on. It’s really up to each team that enters to be as creative and innovative as possible. We welcome entries from students’ unions and college clubs and societies, as well as individual teams of students.

“By encouraging shortlisted teams to actually implement their campaigns – and then inviting them to pitch to a panel of expert judges – we are aiming to provide students with ‘real-life’ experience. As we all know, it is essential that graduates nowadays can demonstrate tangible experience in their chosen field in order to gain a competitive edge. The revamped format for DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie will give students exactly this type of experience – in areas such as project management, financial control, awareness-raising, teamwork, communication skills and pitching.

“Skills such as effective communications, creativity and enterprise – and the capacity to work really well as part of a team – are now considered essential by the vast majority of employers. DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie will cultivate these sorts of skills amongst students, and give them an excellent case study for their CV, demonstrating their capacity to take a project through from conceptualisation to implementation phase.”

Celebrity Champion

One of the celebrity champions lined up for the DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie competition this year is well-known actor and writer Emmet Kirwan. At today’s launch, Kirwan said he felt one of the strengths of the competition is its emphasis on peer-to-peer communication.

“No young person likes being told what they should or shouldn’t do,” he said. “The great thing about DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie is that the creative campaigns will be developed by students themselves, and targeted at their fellow students. This, we hope, will mean the campaigns are fresh, creative and resonate well with their target audience.

“Participating in DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie has lots of benefits for students: they get the chance to come up with a really innovative idea for a campaign, and then to receive funding to make that idea actually happen. And, in doing that – probably in collaboration with a group of their mates – they also get experience, mentoring and networking opportunities that will really stand to them in the long term. At the same time, they’re raising awareness of an important issue: the need for more responsible attitudes to drinking.”

In addition to Emmet Kirwan, footballer, radio presenter and entrepreneur Eamon Fennell is also confirmed as a celebrity champion for DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie. Further celebrity champions – and the panel of high-profile judges – will be announced over the coming months.

Full details about the 2014 competition are available now at:www.DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie.