Skateistan, an NGO that empowers youth through skateboarding in Cambodia and Afghanistan, won the Sport for Good award at the 16th Laureus World Sport Awards.
“When I arrived in Afghanistan with a few skateboards, I didn’t dream of what we’ve achieved so far,” Oliver Percovic, the man behind the launch of Skateistan in Kabul in 2007, said after accepting the award at a ceremony in Shanghai.
Skateistan works with over 1200 youth every week in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and South Africa, using skateboarding to connect them with educational opportunities. Due to Skateistan’s efforts, over 40% of the youth are girls, causing Afghanistan to have a higher percentage of female skateboarders than any other country in the world.
Skateistan has reached much notoriety that even skateboarding legend Tony Hawk came to visit the Phnom Penh headquarters back in 2013. Hawk was impressed with the organization’s efficiency in harnessing the power of skateboarding to engage young people and help them to learn valuable lessons.
According to Percovic, Skateistan’s skate park and center in Phnom Penh is visited by upward of 150 youth each week.
With how effective they are in touching the youth’s lives, the number will sure to increase in months and years to come.
So keep up the good work, Skateistan!