By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent
Did you know stacking and un-stacking plastic cups is an energizing, brain-activating and world-record-setting activity? On Thursday, November 13 — Guinness World Records Day — students in Beecher School’s fifth and sixth grades took part in the “world’s largest sport stacking event.” They joined sport stackers from all corners of the world, up-stacking and down-stacking various pyramids in prescribed patterns at lightning speed for at least 30 minutes, all combined with a variety of fitness activities.
Last year, some 556,000 participants worldwide made it into the Guinness Book of Records for participating in the stacking event. Organizers this year are striving for a participation rate of 600,000. To make this happen, some 36 Beecher Road School students got up an hour early Thursday morning to get a head start on stacking while phys ed teacher Brian Hocking was timing them. He and his colleague, Sandy Simowitz, continued stacking activities during phys ed classes throughout the day. By the end of the day, they reported the participation of 134 students. Since anybody can participate, the Student Council hosted the event as a community-building activity.
Several sets of specially designed plastic cups were set up on a row of tables, with students lining up in small groups several feet away, behind a baseline. Once they got started, the first student would run to the table and build a pyramid (stack up), then the next student in line would take it down again, while the rest of the team was cheering them on.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said one student. “Sport stacking has been termed a ‘track meet for your hands at warp speed,’ said a press release from the International World Speed Stacking Association.
Watching the frantic activity in the North gym, Simowitz said stacking promotes hand-eye coordination as well as fitness, dexterity and focus. Even though speed is encouraged, it is a very inclusive activity, she said. “We are doing it to build the school climate.”