Cyclists on mission to support our youth

Reg Howard-Smith is looking forward to taking part in the Ride for Youth again this year.
Reg Howard-Smith is looking forward to taking part in the Ride for Youth again this year.

It will be the second time that Mr Howard-Smith has taken part in the five-day Hawaiian Ride for Youth, which has raised more than $12.5 million since it started in 2003.

He will be one of six riders over the age of 60 taking part in the event.

All funds raised from the Hawaiian Ride for Youth go directly to Youth Focus, helping to support the provision of free, unlimited expert therapeutic counselling services to more than 2000 young people and their families throughout Western Australia, from Geraldton to Albany.

Hawaiian Ride for Youth chairman Bruce Fielding said the unique community event, which won the Best Charity or Cause-Related Event category of the Australian Events Awards in 2015, achieves a great deal in highlighting the social issues facing young people.

“The ride is an excellent opportunity for participants to keep fit and build new friendships, while supporting a great cause and spreading the Youth Focus message,” he said.

“The deep level of engagement from participants and their genuine drive to improve the lives of young West Australians creates a wonderful event full of camaraderie, dedication and motivation.

The riders stop at 19 regional high schools along the way and talk with students about youth suicide, depression and self-harm.

“For many riders, the school visits are the most rewarding part of the five-day event, giving them the opportunity to spread awareness of the services that Youth Focus provides and share their own personal stories,” Mr Fielding said.

The Hawaiian Ride for Youth will start in Albany and divide into three pelotons, each covering 700km to Perth through regional towns including Katanning, Narrogin, Walpole, Pemberton, Busselton, Frankland River, Bridgetown, Gnowangerup and Collie before meeting in Mandurah and riding the final leg to Kings Park together on April 9.

To donate or for more information, visit rideforyouth.