After weeks perfecting their techniques, speed stackers from throughout New Zealand will pour into Palmerston North this weekend for the national championships.
Speed stacking is an individual and team sport in which competitors stack and unstack 12 specially designed plastic cups in a pre-determined sequence as fast and as accurately as they can.
More than 100 competitors will go "cup to cup" in the New Zealand National Stacking Championship Tournament.
This is the third year in a row the tournament, which requires intense concentration and good hand-eye co-ordination, has been held in Palmerston North.
When 12-year-old Alex Jones was given the choice between cricket or speed stacking, it was the latter that won.
The year 8 Whakarongo School student is a member of the school's team, Whakarongo Stackers. Alex and his team-mates, Makaela Jones, Emma James and Josh Francis, each have about two to three years of experience in speed stacking and the team have been counting down to the tournament for weeks.
School sports co-ordinator Carl Radford said the sport had started to pick up momentum but still relied heavily on volunteers.
"It's great for those who don't enjoy the physical sports because it gives them the opportunity in a sport that they can do without it being physically demanding," Mr Radford said.
For Alex, his ultimate goal is to be selected for the Black Stacks, the national team.
"That's the goal that I think I can reach. The Black Stacks went to America this year."
Alex loved the speed required in speed stacking, and it had helped him in several other ways also.
"I am more patient, and I have better concentration. I like the speed – I'm always in a rush to get to a different place."
The tournament will take place on Saturday at Arena 3, Pascal St.
To see a video of the Whakarongo Stackers speed stacking, visit the manawatustandard.co.nz website.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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