Skating Legend Tony Hawk Stops off At Skateistan

Skating Legend Tony Hawk Stops off At SkateistanLegendary skateboarder Tony Hawk showcased some of his skills on the pipes when he stopped off at the Skateistan centre on the outskirts of Phnom Penh November 28.

And it was an emotional visit for the American who was able to meet for the first time Srey Neang, the child he sponsored during a trip to the country six years ago.

“It’s awesome being able to finally meet Srey,” he told AsiaLIFE. “Being given the chance to see her here with all the other kids is just amazing.”

Hawk sponsored the 17-year-old after visiting Cambodian Children’s Fund during a visit to Cambodia six years ago and has been paying for her education ever since.

Yesterday, Srey Neang was able to hand over a photo album of the last six years of her life that she has been waiting to give to Hawk in person. They also went shopping for books and clothes and Srey Neang taught Hawk how to ask for a manicure in Khmer.

Srey Neang was also treated to a private skateboarding lesson from the legend himself.

The American former professional skateboarder was in the capital to visit the Skateistan centre. Young Khmer fans were on hand to greet him and watch him showcase his skills on the skateboard before posing for pictures with him.

“When I came here last time there was no sign of skateboarding anywhere,” says Hawk, who is renowned for completing the first documented 900 – a 2.5 aerial spin – as well as his series of video games.

“It’s great to see this facility and that the sport is growing. It’s incredible what they are doing here because skating is a good way to get kids active and playing together but not necessarily against each other.”

Skateistan Cambodia is an NGO that was launched in 2011 after proving a hit in Afghanistan. It provides educational and recreational facilities for vulnerable Khmer children.

For more information, visit www.kh.skateistan.org