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A ride to remember – Hawaiian Ride for Youth 2024

After 700km, five days riding and six months training, 140 riders (including the Premier of WA, the Hon Roger Cook!) proudly rode into UWA on Saturday, 23 March, completing the gruelling 2024 Hawaiian Ride for Youth, and raising an incredible $2,139,663 for Youth Focus in the process.

The 140 riders, ranging in age from 21 to 83 years, trained and fundraised intensively for six months in advance of the ride. That’s six months of 4am wake-up calls, gruelling training sessions, and more than one million kilometres travelled (enough to get to the moon and back!) – all while working hard to raise funds and awareness for youth mental health.

Youth Focus CEO, Derry Simpson, said the Hawaiian Ride for Youth is so much more than a cycling event.

“The Hawaiian Ride for Youth gives us a platform to talk about mental health and raises funds to help us deliver our services to support young people throughout the year.

“At its heart, the Ride is about bringing the community together, raising awareness about youth mental health support, and ultimately creating a Western Australia where our young people can thrive.”

Setting off on 19 March, the cyclists, supported by 45 support crew volunteers, travelled from Albany to Perth via three different routes, and visited 15 schools along the way, where they met students and shared their personal stories of mental health. At each school, the riders were supported by a local Youth Focus staff member, so that after each visit, young people would know where they can reach out for help. It’s all part of breaking down the stigma around mental health, showing young people that they’re not alone.

Youth Focus Service Manager, Jo Harper, who supported the Inland peloton, was in awe of the physical and mental determination of the riders.

“What struck me most during the ride was the riders’ unwavering commitment to raising awareness about mental health issues. Each pedal stroke symbolised not only a step towards the finish line but also a step towards breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. The Ride for Youth event served as a powerful reminder of the significant impact that individuals and communities can have when they come together for a common cause,” said Jo.

The cyclists completed the ride on Saturday, 23 March, riding into UWA Riley Oval, where family, friends and supporters cheered them on to the finish line. At the Welcome Home Ceremony, the riders and support crews returned to Noongar woman Ingrid Cumming three message sticks, which had been presented to the riders at the beginning of the journey by Menang Noongar man, Larry Blight, giving safe passage and acting like a passport for the riders as they travelled through Noongar Boodja (watch the video here).

The Hawaiian Ride for Youth has raised more than $34million since it first began in 2003. A huge thanks to Hawaiian for their ongoing support of Youth Focus, and to all of the organisations and individuals who generously donated time, money and other support to the Ride. And a very special thank you to the 140 riders who took on the challenge to ride 700km, and committed to raising funds and awareness to support youth mental health. What an awesome achievement, and we are so grateful for your incredible effort!

Interested in riding in the 2025 Hawaiian Ride for Youth? Get in touch!