Hawaiian Ride for Youth riders get ready to embark on journey raising money for youth mental health

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Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
Riders pass through Albany. More than 200 bike riders will each embark on a 700km ride through WA next week from March 22 to March 26.
Camera IconRiders pass through Albany. More than 200 bike riders will each embark on a 700km ride through WA next week from March 22 to March 26. Credit: Supplied

A record number of riders will get ready to secure their helmets for this year’s Hawaiian Ride for Youth raising critical awareness about youth mental health and suicide prevention across regional WA.

More than 200 bike riders will each embark on a 700km ride through WA next week from March 22 to March 26.

Joining the ride will be 16 of the 24 original riders who started the event in 2003.

In a gesture showing their long-running care for younger generations, some of the original cyclists will ride alongside their children.

The challenging ride will see participants pass through Great Southern and Wheatbelt towns of Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker, Gnowangerup, Kojonup, Katanning, Wagin and Narrogin.

This year, the ride will traverse the three traditional pelotons with all riders travelling from Albany to Perth over four days, as well as the ‘heritage’ peloton that will see 60 riders retrace the original 2003 coastal route.

Hawaiian Ride for Youth chair Christina Matthews said the event provided a conduit for young people to openly discuss mental health and wellbeing, particularly in regional WA.

“This year marks a special milestone for the Hawaiian Ride for Youth, our 20th event,” Ms Matthews said.

“The impact of the event, the funds raised and the lives touched over this time is immeasurable.”

Since its inception, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth has raised $26 million.

The money raised helps Youth Focus to provide free professional counselling and suicide prevention education to young people in WA.

Youth Focus chief executive officer Arthur Papakotsias said the ride was a key event that contributed essential funds to youth mental health services in the State.

Each cyclist must commit to raise at least $5000 to participate in the ride.

Visit rideforyouth.com.au for more details.

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