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Young Guns gear up for 21st annual Hawaiian Ride for Youth

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After participating in the 20th anniversary Hawaiian Ride for Youth (HRFY) earlier this year, Phoebe McClements (rider #621) felt passionate about creating a bigger community of young riders to share the meaningful experience.

“I was keen to create a bigger community of riders a similar age to myself. I love the Ride and the community and wanted to share that with more friends and create more friendships.”

Phoebe started the Young Rider Taskforce along with James Trench, Sophie Pugsley, and Mitch Harrison.

Phoebe said: “We started the Young Rider Taskforce hoping to recruit and retain younger riders in the HRFY. The financial cost of getting started in cycling and fundraising can be challenging for younger riders who are students or early in their professional careers.

We hope that by creating an initiative with financial support and a welcoming environment for young riders, we can continue to recruit more, retain more and help secure the event’s longevity.”

When asked what she enjoys most about the HRFY experience, Phoebe said community.

“It’s the most incredible group of people from all walks of life. Everyone is supportive and encouraging – it’s a really positive space and community to be a part of.”

For Phoebe, cycling is part of the fabric of her family.

“I was introduced to cycling and the HRFY by my parents. They have done four Rides each and have found incredible friendships through the Ride.

Like many others that have several generations involved, the Ride and cycling as a sport become part of the fabric of your family. We see contributing to the HRFY and supporting the mental health of WA’s youth, through Youth Focus, as one of the best ways we can give back to our community.”

Phoebe believes that the HRFY is essential for many reasons, personal to individual young riders and the wider community.

“As young riders, we have the opportunity to raise awareness and spread the messages of Youth Focus among our young networks – which hopefully helps to amplify the impact of Youth Focus.

For individual young riders, it becomes important to our own mental health and wellbeing. Cycling and the great friends I’ve made while riding has become so important to me – I’ve laughed a lot with them and learnt a lot from them all.”

Phoebe and Young Rider Taskforce aim to build a close-knit group of young guns who encourage and support one another. They aim to provide a space where new young riders feel welcome, can ask questions and, most importantly, have fun.

“We’re really proud that we have the biggest cohort of ‘Young Guns’ ever this year!”

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