Last weekend Skateistan Cambodia packed up 11 girls and 7 boys, all our staff, plus a whole car full of speakers, luggage, DJ equipment, and enough boards and gear for everyone and made the trek down to the coastal town of Kep to skate a now-infamous bowl in the middle of the Cambodian Jungle.
In our most recent newsletter, we featured an interview with Skateistan Cambodia staff member Kov Chansangva (Tin). Tin has been working with Skateistan Cambodia for ten months, and has quickly become an invaluable member of the Skateistan team. Her passion for skateboarding, dance, music, and teaching combined with her can-do attitude and energy make her a fantastic female role model for all the students at Skateistan Cambodia. To our knowledge, Tin was the first Cambodian woman ever to land a kickflip.
While there are numerous barriers to female participation in sport around the world, Tin represents a growing population of female athletes in Cambodia.
Thanks to an exceptional donor, Skateistan Cambodia received a whole bunch of new media equipment, including a number of digital point and shoot cameras for student use, a new digital SLR camera and a media computer. We immediately put the equipment to good use.
Professional photographers Samual James and Rick Valenzuela volunteered to spend the afternoon doing a photography workshop with all staff, teaching them the basics of light and composition. Everyone had a blast exploring the neighbourhood and learning how to maximize the quality of their photos.
"The people that think of skateboarding as a sport only for boys are wrong. I think the word sport means that girls and boys can play together." -Tin, 20, Skateistan Cambodia Teacher and Youth Leader
Skateistan Cambodia celebrated International Women’s Day this March with 70 youth. Around 55 girls and 15 boys attended the event, which focused on female participation in sports, and provided an opportunity for the small but growing number of girls who skate in Phnom Penh to meet one another to make art, relax, play games and show off their talent at skateboarding.
Cambodian youth skate down the street in Sihanoukville during the sixth annual 'Khmarnaval' parade.
This was the second year Skateistan Cambodia participated in “Khmarnaval”, an arts and music festival inspired by the Latin tradition of Carnaval, founded in Sihanoukville six years ago. In March Skateistan brought 12 Khmer youth on a three day journey to the seaside town of Sihanoukville (also known as Kampong Saom), to join a parade and cultural festival, shred the streets, and swim in the ocean. All firsts for many of these kids.