New Sweden School takes part in world-record cup stacking

Theron Larkins, Special to The County
10 years ago

    NEW SWEDEN, Maine — Did you know stacking and un-stacking plastic cups is an energizing, brain-activating and world-record setting activity? The students at the New Sweden Consolidated School learned how fun and energizing this activity could be when they took part in Guiness World Records Day on Nov. 13, 2014.

On Nov. 13, thousands of participants across the globe took part in what Guiness World Records called the “World’s Largest Sport Stacking Event.” During the course of Guiness World Records Day, sport stackers, as they have come to be known, worked together from various spots all throughout the world to stack up and then un-stack various pyramids in prescribed patterns at lightning speed for at least 30 minutes. The cup stacking was combined with a variety of fitness activities that encouraged not only physical but also mental fitness. The World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA) set their sights on 600,000 stackers participating as sport stacking with Speed Stacks continues to gain popularity around the world.
Last year, 555,932 stackers participated to break the previous year’s Stack Up! record, set at 483,658. Once again, tens of thousands of stackers were expected to contribute their sport stacking skills from across the U.S. and around the world in countries such as Hungary, Germany, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Colombia and Taiwan. In addition, many schools made the decision to begin using the event as a way to benefit local communities by stacking up for a good cause.
The New Sweden School gymnasium was the site for the sport stacking on Nov. 13, which was an idea originally brought to the school by Thomas Beckum, who presented the chance to participate in the even to the school.
New Sweden Principal Laurie Spooner, said that Beckum was the mastermind behind much of the work that went into making this event possible.
“Thomas does most of the work,” said Spooner. “He’s the one who brought the event to us, and he also  does all of the organizing.”
She explained that the event sounded like a good way to get the whole school involved in a physical activity.
“With this being the first year, the cup stacking day far exceeded our expectations,” said Spooner. “The students had a great time working together and competing with each other in a low-key way.”
According to Bob Fox, WSSA founder and executive director, the Guiness event is a wonderful way to bring together sport stackers across the globe.
“Sport stacking is an activity enjoyed by all ages and cultures. It promotes hand-eye coordination, brain activation, fitness, teamwork, speed and lots of fun,” said Fox. “This is the ninth year we’ve teamed up with Guiness World Records, and we’re excited to have another shot at breaking a world record.
Sport stacking with Speed Stacks, which is the official cup of the WSSA, is now in more than 40,000 schools and youth organizations worldwide. According to Fox, it’s appealing to teachers and students because it’s an easy way to learn, but very challenging to master. Benefits from the activity can include improved reaction time, increased hand-eye coordination, concentration and focus. The WSSA is the governing body for sport stacking and promotes stack meets, leagues and tournaments all around the world.
According to Spooner, the event was a major success, and it saw all students throughout all grades working together to take part in this special world-record setting event.
“Older students helped the younger students without any sort of prompting from adults,” said Spooner. “One of the fourth-grade students, Maya Peterson, told me ‘cup stacking is a fun way to compete with each other.’ With that kind of attitude, everyone wins, because everyone had fun.”
According to WSSA officials, who are currently still tallying all the verified stackers, they do know that this 2014 Stack Up! is a sure bet to go down as the biggest day yet in sport stacking history. As of Tuesday,  this year’s current total is up to 556,401 surpassing last year’s record of 555,932. With several hundred schools still needing to verify their Nov. 13 participation, the goal of 600,000 is certainly within reach.