Meet the Hawaiian Ride for Youth cyclists

30 Oct 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 Mark Gratzer's reason for riding:

If the Hawaiian Ride for Youth helps just one young person at each school it visits during the epic cycle through regional WA in March, Mark Gratzer will be happy.

But the 39-year-old suspects the ride will help many more young people than that – and empower many families too.

Mark says the ride is so empowering that he’s confident it will make a positive mark on all the young people it visits.

“Anything that opens up the conversation about mental health and provides genuine funding towards supporting the prevention of youth suicide is a cause worth getting on the bike for,” Mark says.

He is open about his own struggles with mental health and is determined to help to break down barriers.

“As I have struggled with mental health issues, in my experience, professional support was as important to me as it was to have the close support of my loving family,” Mark says.

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.

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.

Mark is looking forward to cycling with like-minded people who want to spread a positive conversation around mental health.

When asked what advice he would give to a young person struggling with their mental health, Mark responds: “Keep yourself surrounded by positive people and remember that you MATTER and are VALUED.”

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

“If it takes me 700km on a bike to help just one young person's life; then it is worth it.”

Mark’s Quick Quiz:

What’s the best part of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth?“To be a part of a like-minded group of riders and also try and help at least one young person on the way at all of the schools we stop at”

What’s the worst part?“The sore backside!”

If you'd like to learn more about the Hawaiian Ride for Youth or how to help Mark in his fundraising visit here