2017 Hawaiian Ride for Youth Launched: New Mid-West route, from Geraldton to Perth, announced

The biggest charity event on Western Australia’s fundraising calendar – the award-winning Hawaiian Ride for Youth in support of Youth Focus – will include a Mid-West route in 2017 from Geraldton to Perth.

Next year’s Hawaiian Ride for Youth was launched last night and 2017 will mark the fifteenth anniversary of this iconic event, to be held from 21-25 March.

A total of 180 riders across 34 teams will cycle almost 3,000 kilometres on the three routes from Albany to Perth – Coastal, Inland and Wheatbelt – as well as the new Mid-West route.

Riders will visit 23 schools promoting positive mental health and awareness to more than 3,500 students.

Announcing the new route, Youth Focus CEO Fiona Kalaf said the 700  kilometre Mid-West ride would start from Geraldton and travel through Morawa, Dalwallinu, New Norcia, Toodyay, Northam and then onto Kings Park, over four and a half days.

“Youth Focus has strong connections with the Mid-West region through our work in the headspace office in Geraldton and in the general community,” Ms Kalaf said.

“We are delighted that a peloton of around six teams will ride the new route with cyclists raising awareness about our life-saving services, as well as raising funds for Youth Focus.”

About 40 riders will take part in the Mid-West ride, visiting two schools along the way and engaging with various community organisations about Youth Focus and the Ride.

Youth Focus is an independent Western Australian for purpose organisation that works to support young people aged 12-25 with mental health issues and to prevent suicide.

The Hawaiian Ride for Youth aims to raise awareness about Youth Focus and its services as well as raising funds to provide counselling for thousands of young people and their families state-wide.

“The statistics around suicide are alarming,” Ms Kalaf said.

“One Western Australian takes their own life every day including one young person under the age of 25 each week.

“That is why events like the Hawaiian Ride for Youth are so important in raising awareness about mental health issues as well as raising the funds needed to support vulnerable young people.”

Chairman of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth Organising Committee, Bruce Fielding, said the most significant aspect about the Ride was the passion of participants.

“Without the riders and the support crews, and their incredible commitment to planning, recruiting, fundraising, training and taking a week out of their lives to do the Ride, Youth Focus would not have as much capacity as it does to help young Western Australians,” Mr Fielding said.

The Hawaiian Ride for Youth also includes the CEO Challenge which enables CEOs and company owners to take part in the final 80 kilometre leg of the Ride from Mandurah to Kings Park.

The event has raised more than $15 million since it started in 2003 with $10 million raised in the past five years alone.

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