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 Aaron White's reason for riding:

The Hawaiian Ride for Youth is a huge physical challenge, but it is also an enormous mental and emotional challenge for the riders involved.

When Aaron White signed up to his first ride more than five years ago, he initially did so to achieve a personal physical goal.

But soon into the training - and getting to know the cause, the people involved and the young people in need of mental health services, his motivation became more personal – and more important.

“My motivation was initially a personal goal, but once I got involved in it and realised what was going on, plus a few things happened in my world and it motivated me to stay involved and drive the fundraising,” Aaron says.

“In the first year that I did the ride, my brother had a really tough time. It really brought it home to me that mental health is something that we all need to be considerate of, to understand and to be aware of for others - and my involvement with Youth Focus and the Hawaiian Ride For Youth has helped me to be able to understand all of that a little bit more.”

The 2020 Hawaiian Ride for Youth in March will be Aaron’s fourth ride, although he has also worked as support crew in one of those rides.

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.

“The services that Youth Focus provide are critical; the fact that they can provide these services as a charity - rather than as an organisation where they need to charge for their services - is why it is so important to me that they can continue that work in Perth and extend further into regional WA” Aaron says.

When asked what advice he would give to a young person struggling with their mental health, Aaron answers: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find someone you can talk to and be confident that people care.”

“We need to all understand that you don’t have to do it on your own,” he says. “There are people you can talk to and there are places like Youth Focus that are there for you – they can help.”

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

“Mental health needs our attention! With this as my motivation, I’m riding for my family, my friends’ families, the community – and for myself.”

Aaron’s Quick Quiz:

What’s the best part of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth?“Enjoying the Ride and keeping focused on the positives of what we are doing.”

What’s the worst part?“Seeing the tragic results of those who don’t seek help with mental health cases.”

If you would like to learn more about the Hawaiian Ride for Youth or to help Aaron in his fundraising visit here