International Women's Day at Skateistan Cambodia

"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.

Female skate instructor and youth leader Tin launched the day’s program with a passionate speech about the girls who come to Skateistan, and the role of sport in women’s lives. Srey Pich, 10 years old, received a special certificate for her outstanding effort and participation. The girls then had a chance to play skateboarding games, help paint the Women’s Day mural on the front of the Skateistan Cambodia facility, and draw or write messages about Women’s Day for an art exchange. Cully from the Tiny Toones NGO, who is also an instructor with our DJ program, provided a fun musical backdrop for the event.

To end the event, 12 of the most experienced skaters stoked the crowd with an all-girl demo, and prizes of pens and notebooks were awarded to the most active participants in the day’s activities. As the girls wound down from a fun-packed day, they surprised all the staff with a final burst of energy for an impromptu ‘Gangman Style’ dance-off.

Skateistan is proud to be able to provide a forum for young women to build up their own communities and healthy social supports.


Volunteers help out with a Women's Day themed mural outside the Skateistan Cambodia facility.
 


Students participate in an art workshop celebrating women.
 


Spectators gather as the girls demonstration begins.



Star student Srey Pich receives her award from the event's MC, Tin. Srey Pich said, "I am happy when I come here, it is very fun. In the future I want to compete, I want my parents to be proud of me because of skateboarding."
 


A student works on her contribution to the art exchange.