Skateboarding

Through skateboarding, young people are able to have fun and engage positively with each other. Skateboarding provides a valuable outlet for creative expression and physical activity for children of all backgrounds and ages.

As identified by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace, sport is a valuable tool for:

  • fostering self-esteem and empowerment
  • facilitating social support and inclusion
  • providing opportunities for leadership and achievement

Skateistan Cambodia runs daily skateboarding lessons, including girls’ sessions and classes for disabled youth, with lessons taught by former students and peer volunteers. Skateboarding lessons are paired with 1 hour arts-based educational workshops to further build on the confidence and friendships realized in the skatepark.

The novelty of skateboarding in both Afghanistan and Cambodia makes it very successful at engaging with youth of all backgrounds. It appeals particularly to girls, who are often socially excluded from participating in traditional sports like football or volleyball.

Skateistan Cambodia uses skateboarding as a tool or “hook” to engage youth in the more comprehensive health, education, and counseling services provided by other best practices NGOs in Cambodia. You can read more about this and our partnerships here.

CWDA Girls Shred Olympic Stadium

Over the last few months, we have been holding the occasional skate session with some of the young women from the Cambodian Women’s Development Agency’s safe shelter in Phnom Penh. This week we held the first of our now regular weekly sessions with the girls at the Olympic Stadium. Chanthou and Tin were awesome instructors and translators as usual, and the girls got to skate some of our wooden banks and kickers for the first time.

Go Skateboarding Day 2012

 

We had a fun filled Go Skateboarding Day 2012!

The festivities kicked off early with our regularly scheduled morning class at Friends International.  We tried out a new hybrid game of skateboarding basketball which involved a lot of balance, maneuvering, hand-eye coordination and most importantly - teamwork. 

While many kids were shredding, others were observing a special painting demonstration and workshop put on by TheSk8room.  The mural depicted a native endangered species, the gentle giant known as the Asian Elephant pulling a tuk tuk on a nearby wall at the school. 

The children were captivated watching the artistic process and were thrilled when  they were asked to contribute their own colorful touches. The mural quickly came alive with beautiful butterflies, lush grasses, blooming flowers, fancy peacocks and of course depictions of skateboarders. 

KEP SKATE BOWL COMPETITION 2012!

Two vans, one full of stoked kids and staff, and the other filled to the ceiling with boards, gear, and musical instruments, set out on a highly anticipated weekend road trip to Kep to skateboard the infamous concrete bowl at the Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort for what proved to be an epic first-ever skateboard contest of its kind in Cambodia. 

Saturday’s festivities included a warm-up session before the contest held later that afternoon. This was the first time our students have ever skated a concrete bowl. Their initial reservation and trepidation was quickly transformed into an all-out charging session.

By the contest’s end, the kids were carving on the vertical walls and tight transitions, and some were even pulling rock-to-fakies, 5-0 grinds, and tail taps. Their bravery and skill levels quickly escalated in a matter of a day.  

The First 6 Months!

It's actually been a little over 6 months since Skateistan moved into Cambodia and introduced skateboarding to the country for the first time. So much has happened in that time it's hard to sum it all up, but we recently put together a short clip edit of some of the more memorable activities we've been involved in over the first 6 months or so.

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The PSE Charity Event Benefits Vocational Training for Cambodian Youth

Our partnering NGO, PSE (Pour un Sourire d'Enfant), held it’s annual charity event on their campus to benefit their vocational training programs on April 6th and 7th and the Skateistan crew was excited to take part in the festivities.

The grounds were filled with families, friends, students, and visitors from all walks of Phnom Penh life, sharing in the charitable celebration and ushering in the Khmer New Year together. The event was packed with delicious food booths, vendors, crafts, comedy, games, live dance, music, mural making and skateboarding!. 

Cambodia's First Ever Skateboard Comp!

Some serious fun and shredding went down on Saturday at our first ever skateboard competition!  

Our students competed and showed off their skills in a variety of events. In teams and as individuals, skaters of all abilities raced and maneuvered their way through the skatepark with authority.

The girls portion had a heated limbo competition while our intermediate shredders made their way through a difficult obstacle course and our advanced team showed off their skills hitting the launch ramp and threw down some impressive moves on the mini-ramp jam session and best trick contest.  

Carnival Khmer Style!

Skateistan was thrilled to hit the road this past weekend to take part in Khmarnival 2012 in Sihanoukville!  

Eleven of our students from PSE (Pour un Souire d’Enfant) and 5 staff members crammed their bags, skateboards, safety gear, costumes, props, and smiles into the van for what promised to be a most memorable weekend.  

The whole crew dressed up and participated in the march, skating in the streets promoting “Safety First” – the theme of the Carnival.  

PSE Skateboard Park Reopens at Long Last!

After two long awaited months the skateboard park at PSE reopened on February 17th sporting a new roof and smooth concrete floor!  

The Skateistan crew, PSE students and fellow friends came out to help move the ramps back in place!  A lot of smiles and shredding went down.  BBC was also on hand to film a segment featuring two of our PSE rippers, brothers Sophanit and Sophany.  

Check back soon to see a link to the footage and interviews!

Skateistan at MTV EXIT Live in Phnom Penh

Skate jam is on!

Skateistan Cambodia were fortunate enough to recently be a part of MTV EXIT Live in Phnom Penh - a live music event which drew 40,000 young people to Olympic Stadium on 17 December 2011. MTV EXIT put on a massive free live music event for the young people of Phnom Penh, as part of its aim to increase awareness and prevention of human trafficking.

Crowds of Cambodian young people filled the grounds of Olympic Stadium several hours before the official event begun on 17 December 2011, being entertained by various stalls and activities set up at the entry of the event. Amongst these stalls was a stall being run by the enthusiastic Skateistan Cambodia team, who happily chatted to people about the sport of skateboarding, as well as our activities of teaching skateboarding here in Cambodia.
 
Skateistan Cambodia were fortunate enough to not only run a stall at the event, but were also given space to set up a small skatepark alongside the stall, which proved to be a magnet for the eyes and feet of people entering the concert venue.

Not Letting Up

October has been a huge month for Skateistan Cambodia. So huge it's been hard to keep the updates coming fast enough. 

Our sessions continue at Friends Mith Samlanh NGO on a weekly basis, and over the weekend of Pchum Ben (Cambodian holiday) we added three other Friends locations to our program, getting 80 new kids on boards over a couple of days. The reaction was so positive that we have now set up a Saturday morning session just for those kids at the Olympic stadium where they arrive by bus from their Friends homes and get their skate on. Last week also saw us begin staff training for the Friends men and women, which has already paid off at our Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions, with the staff members directing the entire class in the Khmer local language.

It doesn't end there either. This week the entire Skateistan team along with some local bladers performed a demonstration at Northbridge International School on  new ramps that have been built especially for the Cambodian Country Club (CCC). The day was a huge success and promoted the new skateboard facility at CCC which will be attended weekly by the students of Northbridge.

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