Video: Tom bids to be world's fastest cup stacker

CUP a load of that.Debenham High School pupil Tom Hailes is hoping to be named best in Britain at a little-known pursuit called 'cup stacking'.

CUP a load of that.

Debenham High School pupil Tom Hailes is hoping to be named best in Britain at a little-known pursuit called 'cup stacking'.

Cup stacking is an individual and team activity in which participants stack pyramids of three, six, or ten cups whilst being timed.

In April, 14-year-old Tom will represent Britain in the World Sport Stacking Championships held in Denver, USA.


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In 2006, the school bought 30 sets of cups and other necessary equipment. It was at this point that Tom decided to give cup stacking a go.

By training two hours every night, Tom soon became the best cup stacker in the school and began entering competitions.

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After attending a Team GB selection day in January, he received news that he had been chosen to represent his country.

“I picked it up through school but began practicing in my own time. I started to build up speed and get close to the British records,” said the Year Nine pupil.

“Cup stacking is really good because it improves ambidexterity and the use of both sides of the brain.”

In preparation for the World Championships, Tom will be attending team training sessions once a month at different schools around the country.

He and four other stackers on the British team will be flown to Denver before the competition.

Tom already holds the British record for the “3-6-3” stack style with a time of 2.56 seconds.

In the “cycle” discipline, Tom has a personal best time of 6.47 seconds, only 0.26 seconds off the current world record.

Vic Sandall, PE teacher and school sports co-ordinator, helped bring cup stacking to Debenham High. She said: “I thought it would be a good alternative to usual sports. We gave Tom the idea and he ran with it - he has even taught his sisters how to do it.

“It's a brilliant activity for pupils who don't represent the school at sports like football and rugby.”

Ron Parker, training and operations manager of Speed Stacks Ltd, has high hopes for the young prot�g�e.

He said: “Tom has fantastic potential and could do well at this year's championships.

“On the selection day Tom performed well and he was one of five students that Speed Stacks has offered sponsorship to attend as part of this year's Team GB.”

What is Cup Stacking?

- Cup Stacking originated in the United States in the early 1980s at a southern California boys and girls club.

- Fans of the sport say participants learn teamwork, cooperation, ambidexterity and hand-eye coordination.

- Specially designed plastic cups with holes in the bottom are used to prevent them sticking to one another and to allow air to pass through quickly when stacking.

- Tom's Cup Stacking hero, 11-year-old Steven Purugganan, holds three world records with 1.86 seconds in the 3-3-3, 2.38s in the 3-6-3, and 6.21s in the cycle.

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