Skateistan, the award-winning non-profit organization empowering youth through skateboarding and education, launched a new skate school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Friday, February 23.

More than 100 children celebrated alongside special guests from around the world, including skaters Sky Brown, Mimi Knoop, Jim Thiebaud and funding partner, The Skateroom.

skateistan skate school cambodia

Sky Brown with staff and students during the girls skate demo. Photo: Jeremy Meek

As soon as the ribbon was cut by students to officially open the skate school, girls took to the new 500-square-meter skatepark to put on a demo for the crowd – dropping in from the highest ramps and showing off new skills they had already learned on the concrete features built by New Line Skateparks.

This was followed by a pro skate demo in which 9-year-old Sky Brown wowed the local children (and her new friends) on the mini ramp. There was also breakdancing, a magic show, interactive wall art and a 360-degree nature experience. The day celebrated the power of skateboarding and creativity to change the lives of children in Cambodia.

skateistan skate school cambodia

Sky Brown wows the crowd on the mini ramp. Photo: Jeremy Meek

Skateistan launched its first programs in Phnom Penh in 2011 and recently moved to a new location, within the creative hub of Factory Phnom Penh, to better meet the needs of local youth, in particular girls and children living with disabilities.

Today, 240 children — 53 percent of which are girls — are currently part of the programs (Outreach, Skate and Create and Youth Leadership) in Phnom Penh.

skateistan skate school cambodia

These girls are taking it to the next level. Photo: Jeremy Meek

This new space will enable Skateistan to provide skateboarding and educational opportunities to even more children in the local community surrounding the skate school while continuing to work with multiple partner organizations in the city.

Built in partnership with Building Trust International, the new skate school was funded by The Skateroom through sales of limited edition skate decks featuring the artwork of Grayson Perry and Andy Warhol.

skateistan skate school cambodia

Jim Thiebaud encouraging students in the skate park. Photo: Jeremy Meek

The facility consists of a skatepark, classroom, library, office and large green space. It was designed by architects at Atelier Cole, with input from local Skateistan staff and the skate community.

It's the perfect new space for Skateistan to run their programs, which are supported by Jochnick Foundation, Google.org, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Swedish Postcode Foundation, CHPO, FYF, Shining Pictures and InMaat Foundation. The skatepark is the first of its kind in Cambodia and, when not in use by Skateistan students, will be open for the public to enjoy.

skateistan skate school cambodia

Mimi Knoop and Sky Brown with students and staff. Photo: Jeremy Meek

This new facility in Cambodia sees the non-profit organization further integrating into the community and providing a safe space for local children to play and learn for years to come.

Find out more at skateistan.org.

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