Father and son saddle up together in Ride for Youth


Todd Walpole and Brad Walpole.
Todd Walpole and Brad Walpole.

HAVING already raised $25,000 for youth mental health charity Youth Focus, the only thing standing in Todd and Brad Walpole’s way is a gruelling bike ride from Albany to Perth.

Carine resident Brad said he convinced his son Todd to join him in his sixth Ride for Youth, which aims to raise awareness and funds for charity Youth Focus to prevent youth suicide and depression.

Brad said the ride was a challenge he was ready to take on for the sixth time alongside his son.

“Todd came along in the support vehicle last year and got the bug from there, he realised how good the event is and he has been training hard,” he said.

“I think the cause is great, there is great camaraderie and it keeps you fit too.

“Everyone is there for the rights reasons, for the same cause and same goal.

“It’s a very supportive group atmosphere on the ride.”

Greenwood resident Todd said his first ride would be a challenge but he had been training hard.

“It is tough when that alarm goes off at 4.30 am but I have been training at least three times a week,” he said.

“I have dealt with anxiety and have had friends who have dealt with depression so when I got the chance I thought I’d step up and try and raise funds.

“A lot of kids have a lot of pressure on them these days and often stress can progress into something much more serious.

“All the people at Youth Focus are trained to deal with younger people and make the kids feel more comfortable.”

All funds raised from the 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 WA, from Geraldton to Albany.

Ride for Youth chairman Bruce Fielding said the community event, which recently won the ‘Best Charity or Cause-Related Event’ at the Australian Events Awards in 2015, goes a long way to highlight the important social issues among young people.

Since its inception in 2003, the Ride has raised more than $12.5 million, making it Youth Focus’ largest fundraising event.

Ride for Youth runs from April 5-9.