On Saturday 25 March our Team MACA riders crossed the finish line at UWA, after completing an epic 700km ride from Albany to Perth as part of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth.
In its 21st year, the Hawaiian Ride for Youth event had 160 riders saddle up to take on the four and half day challenge, traversing through either a coastal, inland or wheatbelt route.
Team MACA first year rider Sara Scott said being a part of the event and Team MACA was an amazing experience.
“Yes, it was hard work cycling every day, but along the journey you meet likeminded people who share their experiences with you, and that creates a safe space to be vulnerable.
“I lost two school mates to suicide, so to be involved in breaking down the stigma of asking for help is my way of giving back to the community. An illness that you can’t physically see is still important, and we need to be accepting to talk about it,” she said.
Throughout their journey back to Perth, our riders stopped at five schools, where one rider would share with the school their own personal health journey and raise topics that included anxiety, depression and suicide.
“The children were very welcoming as we cycled into the school. They asked brave questions and really listened to each speaker,” said Sara.
The schools visited by our riders included North Albany Senior High School, Denmark High School, Pemberton District High School, St Mary Mackillop Catholic College in Busselton, and Australind Senior High School.
The purpose of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth is to raise funds to support Youth Focus’ youth mental health services, and this year Team MACA raised over $145,000 to contribute to the overall total.
As our riders recover and reflect on their experience being part of Hawaiian Ride for Youth, Sara has already jumped back on the bike in the days following the ride, but at a more casual and reasonable time of day.
“My alarm clock has been going off at 3.50am, three days a week for the past six months. Would I do the ride again? It’s a definite yes from me but for now I am looking forward to getting my weekends back, the training requires real commitment but is extremely rewarding and supportive along the way.”
Congratulations to our 2023 Team MACA riders Chris Green, Chris Pearson, Joel Thomson, Mark Lynn, Martin Pratt, Peter Marcakis and Sara Scott.
Until next year…