Youth Leadership

An important part of Skateistan’s mission is to provide leadership opportunities.

Some of the deepest individual impacts of Skateistan’s activities are seen in the youth that have become volunteers or paid staff with the organization, and who now play a key role in developing programming for their peers.

All of Skateistan Cambodia’s skateboarding and classroom instructors are former students.

As part of our youth leadership programs in Afghanistan and Cambodia, over 40 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 21 have volunteered regularly with Skateistan as Youth Leaders, assisting in skate sessions or class lessons, helping to plan and manage events, and taking part in special sports, arts, and multimedia workshops.

The result of Skateistan’s mutual learning and regular training for volunteers and staff has been a true sense of ownership over the project, for both local staff and students. This youth leadership initiative has also created positive role models for the hundreds of students who attend every week.

Why Sport Matters for Girls

Tin shows some new students how to push for the first time.

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.

Ideal Phnom Penh Photo Project

Students have been working hard on a new project at Skateistan Cambodia: Ideal Phnom Penh.

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.

Introducing Nop - Skateistan Security Guard

 Nop, instructor in training, pulls a big ollie off the wedge.

We’d like to officially introduce you to Nop, our security guard, instructor in training, and all around incredible addition to the team at Skateistan Cambodia. Nop is 20 years old and started with Skateistan a few months ago when we first opened the doors to the new park and facility. Having never stood on a board before, he took full advantage of his access to the skatepark and quickly taught himself how to skate. Now he’s assisting with teaching classes, and on any given day Nop might be found helping the kids in the art class, registering new students, and pushing himself  and the students in the park. Always all-smiles, and quick to pick up new tricks, he motivates the rest of us with our skating too. We caught up with him this week to ask a few questions about himself and life working at Skateistan.  (Interviewed in Khmer and translated into English).