Why have I signed up a fourth time since 2019 to ride 700km in 5 days I hear you asking? Primarily because I witness now, more than ever, the need for mental health support for our youth as more and more struggle with finding their way in this confusing world.
Youth Focus aims to prevent youth suicide and reduce the stigma associated with youth mental health and I resonate strongly with this cause having lost my best friend to suicide at 21. I also have an extended family member who experiences mental health issues and know of many others, both young and old, who have or have had experience of mental health issues.
I am not a die-hard cyclist but I love the camaraderie of the sport (especially the coffee sessions afterwards) and absolutely love the outdoors, being fit and being part of a team:- the Ride for Youth is a perfect fit! The training challenges me more than any other sport and Ride Week is an awesome experience in terms of the mental and physical challenge but the best bit is listening to those who share their stories with the school kids along the way and witnessing the impact this has on the kids.
Thank you for supporting me on the 2024 Ride for Youth to raise money to continue the important work of Youth Focus...2022 was the last time I rode (evidenced by my profile photo) and it was hard physically and mentally as Tim couldn't ride with me. I anticipate 2024 to be challenging too but at least this time Tim is riding with us and I am not raising money from a hotel room in quarantine!
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