As the majority of us wind down for the holiday season, there’s one group of passionate Western Australians who won’t be taking a break over the holidays.
The 150 Hawaiian Ride for Youth cyclists will continue training and fundraising over the festive season, as they gear up for the 700km ride from Albany to Perth over four days in March 2024.
They will do so in the knowledge that they’re raising money for the growing number of young Western Australians facing mental health challenges.
In its 22-year history, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth has raised nearly $32 million for youth mental health. This vital funding has enabled Youth Focus to provide mental health services to thousands of young people across Western Australia each year, including counselling, education, work and study pathways, and support for communities impacted by crises.
Mental health challenges don’t stop over the holidays, and neither will the riders. They will continue with their training and fundraising, as well as the all-important time trials – the most recent of which took place in the early hours of Saturday, December 16.
On a weekend when most people were finishing their shopping and putting up the last of the decorations, these 150 riders were doing laps of Perry Lakes in their teams, as part of their second time trial. These time trials allow the coaches and training staff to check the incredible progress the riders have made over the last two months of training and ensure that come March 19, every single rider is ready to depart Albany and complete their 700km journey on a bike to Perth.
They do this because mental health challenges impact each of us, and because access to support can change a person’s life. By participating in the Hawaiian Ride for Youth and raising money for Youth Focus, the riders are helping to create a community where we look after each other, and actively challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and help-seeking.
To learn more, or donate, visit rideforyouth.com.au