Anna Leask

Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Kiwi toddler skates to global stardom

Kiwi toddler Kahlei Stone-Kelly is taking the world by storm with his skateboarding skills, but it's nothing new for him - he's been doing it since well before his first birthday.

The 2-year-old has become a global sensation after video of him skateboarding in his nappy was posted on YouTube.

The fearless tot whizzes past the camera before manoeuvring up steps and off ramps.

Kahlei's mother, April Stone, described him on Facebook as "talented as".

"Pretty overwhelmed man, this is just the start and it's something that keeps a smile on my dial," she wrote.

The video was uploaded several months ago, but went viral this week after it was picked up by international media.

While some questioned the safety of Kahlei skating without a helmet, safety pads or shoes, most who watch the video are blown away by his obvious talent for the sport.

Kahlei was born in Auckland and moved with Ms Stone and his father, Meka Kelly, from Glen Innes to Australia recently.

He has six siblings aged between about 6 and 17 who have also skated from a young age - brothers Mystic, Kane, Deveraux, Manazhay, Akem and sister Yozahna.

Mr Kelly, a veteran skater, and the children are known as Stone Kelly 8, or SK8. Their dream is to perform and compete professionally, and they are making a name for themselves in Australia.

In an event held in October, each category featured a Stone-Kelly in the top few places.

Before the family moved across the ditch Ms Stone told APN that skating kept her kids "off the PlayStation and off the couch".

"They learned it like walking."

When the Stone-Kelly clan started out they had just three boards to share between seven. They set out to win as much as they could and get noticed by sponsors so they could keep up with the growing equipment demands.

They converted their backyard into a mini skate park and had a quarter pipe set up in the lounge.

Mr Kelly said he grew up "on the trouble side of things", but skating put him on the straight and narrow.

Kahlei was sent a helmet from New Zealand company Gromlinz Skate which he is now wearing when he jumps on his board.

His mother hoped that would stop any negativity around his skating.

It is understood Kahlei has been taken out to do a professional skating video.

Mr Kelly posted on Facebook that he had been inundated with media requests, which the family were considering.

- NZ Herald

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