In early December, Javier Mendizabal and the Quiksilver by Vuerich B Project team travelled to Phnom Penh to meet the Skateistan team and their students. This marked the beginning of an exciting new collaboration to release a range of sunglasses made out of recycled skateboard decks to help support Skateistan. Each handcrafted pair of sunglasses is outfitted with top of the line Carl Zeiss lenses, and some of the skate decks were previously used at Skateistan Cambodia.
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.