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Hawaiian Ride for Youth rolls home to hero’s welcome

The 21st Hawaiian Ride for Youth was an enormous success, raising more than $2.3 million. 

These funds will help Youth Focus deliver essential services to support youth mental health, including counselling, employment support, and education and community engagement.

Brilliantly, Hawaiian has announced that it will extend its support of young Western Australians into 2024 as naming partner of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth.

The announcement came as 150 riders cycled into UWA Riley Oval after travelling 700 kilometres from Albany. Among them were a record number of young riders, with 25 riders under the age of 30 saddling up for the challenge.

During its 21-year history, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth has raised more than $32 million to support young people to thrive in their community.

Over the years thousands of students have engaged with the event during Ride Week school visits, where the riders provide meaningful education and start conversations about mental health with regional students.

Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Derry Simpson said that Hawaiian and Youth Focus are making a significant difference to the lives of young people in the Western Australian community.

“Youth Focus is delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Hawaiian. This ongoing commitment from Hawaiian makes a significant impact in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and communities in WA.

“Together, we can continue to work towards a world where a young person’s mental health doesn’t get in the way of who they aspire to be.”

Hawaiian has supported Youth Focus since the very beginning of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth more than two decades ago. What began as a small charity event with 24 riders in 2003 has grown into one of Australia’s landmark fundraising events.

Hawaiian Chief Operating Officer Richard Kilbane said that the partnership is one of the ways that Hawaiian delivers on its mission of creating opportunities for young people.

“Partnering with Youth Focus enables Hawaiian to help support young people to look after their mental health. We are so pleased to continue as naming rights sponsor of this important event.”

Tragically, suicide remains the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 24 in Australia. Mental health support has never been more important and the demand for services continues to grow.

“With Hawaiian’s continued support, Youth Focus can work towards creating a community that supports our young people to be mentally healthy,” Ms Simpson concluded.