Meet the Hawaiian Ride for Youth cyclists

05 Nov 2019

Hawaiian is proud to partner with Youth Focus as the naming rights partner for the Ride for Youth - an important event which sees cyclists take the positive mental health message to young people and schools throughout regional Western Australia.

We are proud to present some of the cyclists who will take part in the event and raise money for Youth Focus. These riders live, work or have a tie to the communities in which Hawaiian operates and we are proud to present their stories.

This is Simon Lyons' reason for riding:

Simon Lyons is proud to be the father of four happy and healthy young adults, but he knows getting through life isn’t easy for many young people.

“I think for young people nowadays they have a lot of different pressures to what we had when we were growing up,” says Simon.

“When we were growing up it was all care and no responsibility – we’d be outdoors most of the day, not exposed to social media, we didn’t have to worry about bullying or any of those sorts of things that happen online. Kids have more pressure than we probably did.”

While his brother-in-law, Hawaiian CEO Russell Gibbs may have encouraged him to do the Ride, Simon explains he continues to sign up for the event (this is his third year) because he strongly believes in the cause.

“Youth Focus is really important, I love the cause,” he says. “Lots of kids have issues and certainly when I was younger it was really hard for people to find help - so seeing an organisation like Youth Focus and what they do, has really inspired me and I have been very pleased to be involved.

“Having Hawaiian being involved with this charity for so long and for the amount of money that it raises to support that organisation is hugely important.

Hawaiian is proud to be the naming rights partner of the Ride for Youth which works to break down stigmas and generate meaningful conversations about mental health for young people.

The 2019 event raised $2.16 million for Youth Focus. Hawaiian is proud to partner with Youth Focus and make a difference to the lives of young people.

Each rider must fundraise at least $5000 for Youth Focus and the money raised goes directly into services to help young West Australians aged 12 to 25 at risk of serious mental health issues like suicide, depression and anxiety.

“I have seen mental health struggles, within my family, with my parents, my brothers and sister and within my children on occasion where they are struggling a bit and need a bit of help. And being able to reach out and ask for help or to help someone is fantastic,” Simon says.

Being open to help – whether that is asking for support or offering it – can make a significant, positive difference to a person’s mental health, he says.

“The first thing I would say to a young person going through a mental health struggle would be make sure you surround yourself with good people and ask for help,” says Simon.

“Whether it is a parent, a brother, a sister, a friend or whatever, just reach out and say, ‘hey, I am struggling, I need a bit of a hand’. You can also reach out to Youth Focus.”

Simon’s reason for doing the 2020 Hawaiian Ride for Youth:

“Youth Focus helps young people deal with tough issues and save lives; as a father myself, I want kids to be happy and healthy.”

Simon’s Quick Quiz:

What’s the best part of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth? “The ride is a fantastic culmination of a lot of training; it is hugely tough and hard but it is just a fantastic week. It’s very social; there is lots of fun, lots of jokes and lots of money raised in a great fun way.”

What’s the worst part?“The riding!”

To learn more about the Hawaiian Ride for Youth or to help Simon Lyons fundraise for Youth Focus, visit here