Beaudesert businesses back female quad bike racing team

GIRL RACERS: The Live 4 Tomorrow team is determined to do their bit for suicide prevention.
GIRL RACERS: The Live 4 Tomorrow team is determined to do their bit for suicide prevention.

FOUR friends from Jimboomba have formed a quad bike racing team to help raise awareness of mental health issues and teen suicide.

Fifteen-year-olds Emily Wiedman and Natalie Williams with 14-year-old team mates Chevelle Green and Bridie Rowles said they were on a mission to start a conversation around what they see as a suicide crisis for young people.

The team said they competing in the largely male-oriented sport and were grateful for support from Beaudesert, with sponsors including Fordy's Tyre and Auto and MJ Detailing.

Ms Wiedman's father, Paul, said the team had received backing from businesses across the region, boosting their efforts to raise their profile and enabling them to take part in events including the Beaudesert Show, Lismore Show, and the Monster Truck Show.

"They sent letters to local businesses and had a great response with many donating gift vouchers to help with fund raising," Mr Wiedman said.

"Of the people they spoke to, so many had a family member or knew someone who had taken their own life, which just highlights how big an issue this is."

He said the team was including donated gift vouchers to a raffle on their Live 4 Tomorrow Facebook page.

Emily Wiedman and Natalie Williams with team supporter Melanie Williams, aged 12.

Emily Wiedman and Natalie Williams with team supporter Melanie Williams, aged 12.

Ms Wiedman said she had lost a friend to suicide  a few months ago and the group, which was already quad bike racing just for fun, decided to use their skills to raise awareness of the issues around suicide.

"Chevelle also lost one of her friends to suicide, so we are keen to raise awareness and send the message: "It ain't weak to speak," she said.

"We have gift packs, which we hand out at all our shows and they contain details about who to contact if you are struggling with mental health issues.

"We will be at the Brisbane 4x4 Outdoors Show on April 5 to 7 and we are also competing at the Nationals in Canberra in September."

Ms Wiedman said the Live 4 Tomorrow team was hoping to establish a regular weekend getaway for girls.

"We are calling it Girls in the Dirt and once we get up and running we hope to do it once a month," she said.

"We have a property in Warwick we can use and we want to have small groups of six or so girls who have been affected by mental health issues including suicide or self-harm.

"It will be a free weekend where girls can ride all day without worrying about how they look and sit around the fire at night to talk about the stuff that's troubling them if they want to."

The group said Live 4 Tomorrow had increased its public profile and attracted support from celebrity athletes including racing car driver Chas Mosted, rally car driver Chris Atkinson and five-time world motocross champ Jemma Wilson, who had donated signed gear to help raise funds.

The group also sells $2.50 Live 4 Tomorrow wrist bands and donates to Livin, a Queensland charity working to break the stigma of mental illness.