Goal $2,000,000

Alumni News | March 2019

Hawaiian Ride for Youth Organising Committee Chair Message

It is hard to believe that it is 12 months since my first Hawaiian Ride for Youth as Chairman of the Organising Committee rolled into Kings Park. And now we are here again, getting ready to meet in City Beach to board the bus, hopefully the right one, to either Albany or Jurien Bay.

After the issues faced on the Mid West route last year, we have taken a number of factors into account to come up with a route that leaves from Jurien Bay and hopefully avoids some of the heat and wind. As with any Ride, we are at the mercy of the weather, but starting a week later may give us the break we need.

Each year the Ride continues to grow – 173 riders, over 40 newbies and more women riders than in the past. We have also seen massive changes at the Organising Committee level with a number of new team members coming on board. On behalf of all riders I would also like to welcome Arthur Papakotsias to the role of CEO of Youth Focus, and also welcome him onto the Organising Committee.

And hasn’t training lived up to the expectations I set out back in October 2018?  Well maybe some don’t share my view. Thank you to Supercoach Trench and all his deputies, Adrian, Roger Blow, Chopper and Kieran, Murph, Charlie, Michael Pyne and Chris Rimmer, Iddles, Dougal, Darren Schenk and Lofty, Pugs, the two Geoff’s Huge One and Blackie, Cousie and Leakie, for putting such an outstanding program together.  It is a massive team that takes on an even bigger task. Thank you all for your patience and perseverance, in particular with our newer riders.  I would also like to thank both Chopper and Chris Rimmer for taking on the peloton lead roles for Mid West and Wheatbelt respectively.  Good luck and a safe week to all our on road leaders.

It is now over to us, as riders, to put all that training into action. As the coaches and I have said many times, you have done the hard work – the Ride is the easy bit. We are ready to go. For many riders, and in particular newer riders, there will be some nervous times ahead of you. There will be moments where we are all challenged, both physically and emotionally.

The school visits are a highlight of the week, but can be challenging for the school presenters as they bare their feelings and thoughts to the students, teachers and fellow riders.  Please be mindful of what our school presenters may be going through, not only as they prepare for their talk, but also be watchful for them in the days after they speak.  Those riders and their team mates will need our ongoing support throughout the week.

Always remember, you have teammates, an entire peloton and your support crew to help you through the week. If at any point you feel you may be struggling in any way, don’t be too proud to put your hand up, the leadership group is there to support you and ensure you have a great week. It can be a roller coaster week, but as I have said on many occasions, it will be a week you will never forget.  It may well be the best week of your life.

I can speak a lot about the Ride, but we must reflect on why we are all doing this: to raise invaluable financial support for Youth Focus. Thank you to each and every rider for the efforts you have put in with your fundraising. We have seen more events than previous years, and at times some rather innovative and novel ways to attract donations. Our total continues to rise by the day, but there is still time to tap some more people on the shoulder for that last donation or two. Most importantly, don’t forget to thank your supporters for their help in getting you on the bus and take the time when you get back to share your experience with them.

Media coverage continues to get broader across all outlets, whether that be the written press, radio or social media. To our riders who have been seen in the various newspapers, The West Australian, the Australian Financial Review and our local Community Newspapers, thank you all for being true ambassadors for the Hawaiian Ride for Youth and Youth Focus.

I cannot sign-off on where we are today without thanking my wonderful Organising Committee, Belinda Lonsdale, Karen Brown, Cousie, Cam Alder, Rob Breden, and the four ED’s, MickyG, Woodie, Su and Magic along with the stunning support team at Youth Focus, not just Krystle and Lydia, and in more recent times Zoe, but everyone at Youth Focus.  We have managed to get Ride Week together even with the transition of Fiona Kalaf to our new CEO in Arthur.  To everyone involved, you have done a mighty job and you have made my job a lot easier than it might have been.

I look forward to seeing everyone at City Beach bright and early on Monday morning, and again on Saturday the 30th at either Plain Street or Kings Park.

In closing, I would ask you all to once again reflect on our core values of safety, respect, camaraderie, courage and passion.  Keeping these values in mind will ensure a happy and fun week.

Good luck to all. Ride safe and keep upright.


Youth Focus CEO Message | 2019 Hawaiian Ride for Youth

Dear riders and Support Crew,

On behalf of Youth Focus staff, Board of Directors and the young people we proudly support, thank you once again for your participation in the 2019 Hawaiian Ride for Youth, and your steadfast commitment to the Youth Focus cause.

As you are aware, from humble beginnings, the award-winning Hawaiian Ride for Youth has grown into one of Australia’s leading charity events. In its 16-year history, the Ride has raised more than $19.8 million to support Youth Focus. These funds have been crucial in ensuring the continued delivery of life-changing professional counselling services and mental health programs to help young Western Australians lead full and healthy lives.

During Ride Week, you will travel through a number of welcoming and accommodating communities, as well as visit regional high schools and engage students in honest and important discussions about positive mental health and help seeking behaviour.

From my perspective, I very proudly view every one of you as a role model and ambassador of Youth Focus want to thank you in advance for presenting a positive and compassionate image of yourself, your peers and Youth Focus. This is especially important for young people and their families who entrust us with the mental health and wellbeing of their loved ones.

I look forward to joining you in representing Youth Focus on what promises to be a rewarding, responsible and safe journey.

Arthur Papakotsias

Chief Executive Office


Join us on Saturday, 30 March at Kings Park as we welcome home the 2019 Hawaiiain Ride for Youth riders and Support Crew as they return from their inspirational journey.

An official presentation will take place to acknowledge the riders, Support Crew and sponsors of the Ride.

Click here for further information.


We would like to invite you and a guest to join us in celebrating the success of the 2019 Hawaiian Ride for Youth on Friday, 12 April at 6:00pm at the State Reception Centre, Fraser’s, Kings Park.
The evening is a great opportunity to reunite with everyone who played a part in you Hawaiian Ride for Youth journey and made it so special.
For the first time, we have extended the festivities of the Cocktail Function to allow everyone more time to reconnect after Ride Week!

Click here to RSVP.


By now you would have all received your 2019 Riders Manual!

Please find the link below for your peloton should you need to access the Riders Manual again:

2019 Coastal Riders Manual

2019 Inland Riders Manual

2019 Midwest Riders Manual

2019 Wheatbelt Riders Manual


Join us for the Geoff Rasmussen Memorial Ride on Saturday 27 April at 6.00am, departing from trench Carpark.

All past and current support crew and riders (and their families / friends) are more than welcome to ride.

There will be three pelotons leaving the gym: Shelley Loop (80 kms), River ride (50 kms) and a 15 km slower ride for those who haven’t been on the bike for a while.

More information will be sent out closer to the date.


Riders and Support Crew (who have previously ridden) will once again have the opportunity to purchase a personalised HRFY Number Plate.

These number plates will have your HRFY Alumni Number on it and are a fantastic memento of your time on the Ride.

If you would like to purchase your HRFY Number Plate please CLICK HERE to download the form and return to [email protected]



The annual Spirit of the Ride Award is presented to a first year rider who exemplifies the attributes and example set by Geoff Rasmussen in capturing the spirit of this iconic event.

These attributes include:

  • an outstanding attendance record at training
  • improvement in strength and endurance over the course of the training program
  • commitment to the fundraising objectives of the ride
  • positive engagement with other riders

Award nominations must be made by Team Captains and include all relevant comments to support the riders nomination.  Any coach or Peloton Lead wishing to see a rider nominated for the award should collaborate with the Team Captain to ensure the nomination is submitted. CLICK HERE to download the Award Nomination Form.

Nominations will close on Friday 22 March 2019.

If you have any queries or would like further details about the nomination process please contact Mark Pugsley ([email protected]) – Selection Committee Chairman.