Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 15, 2013

Holy Family students aim for part of Guinness World Record

Mark Maynard
CNHI News Service

ASHLAND — At Holy Family school, the hand is quicker than the eye — at least when it comes to cup-stacking.

Thirty-five elementary students in third- to fifth-grade hope to learn they are part of a Guinness World Record in sport stacking.

Students from all over the world were expected to participate on Thursday, the day the people at Guinness set aside for the world record event. The goal was to have 500,000 stackers participating as sports stacking continues to gain popularity worldwide.

Holy Family students were scattered over the gymnasium floor stacking different sized cups. Meanwhile, in the stands, students from the other grades at the school cheered and the speaker system played songs. It was a beehive of activity.

“The last time we did the world record participation was four years ago,” said physical education teacher Carol Kelley. “But we’ve been stacking here for a long time.”

Kelley described cup-stacking as a “right brain, left brain and eye-hand coordination activity.”

She said it incorporates several levels of learning and physical activity. During one of the cup-stacking competitions, students had to do pushups, jump rope and do hurdles before doing the stacking.

The sports stacking promotes fitness and teamwork.

It was easy to see that Holy Family’s students were well-versed on cup-stacking. The cups were swiftly stacked in proper order with any age level.

“The kids get good at it,” Kelly said. “Real good.”

She teaches preschool to eighth-grade the activity but only 35 — the combined third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes — participated for the record.

Wesley Gibbs, a fifth-grader, said he’d only been stacking for a couple of weeks, but he’s already getting the hang of it.

“I like to see how I can go with the stack time,” he said. “I’ve been learning more tricks. If we set the world record, that would be awesome.”

Zane Crawford, a fourth-grader, is in his first year at Holy Family, but cup-stacking has become one of his favorite activities.

“I think it’s fantastic,” he said. “The cups have holes in the bottom so you can stack faster. I’m kind of getting the hang of it.”

Sports stacking with Speed Stacks is in more than 37,000 schools and youth organizations worldwide.

Besides the United States, other countries such as Hungary, Germany, Israel, South Korean, New Zealand, Columbia and Taiwan were participating on Thursday.

For information about the sport, go to thewssa.com or speedstacks.com.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.