Many people were handling plastic cups at the Orchid Country Club over the June 4 weekend, and it was not for a function or birthday party.
Instead, the club was the venue for an international competition organised by the Singapore branch of the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA).
Sport stacking, also known as cup stacking or speed stacking, requires participants to stack and unstack cups in various specific formations as fast as possible.
A total of 112 Singaporean participants took part in the inaugural WSSA 2016 Singapore Open, held over that weekend.
Another 50 foreign competitors from six territories including Australia and Taiwan also took part. The overall winners were Chan Keng Ian, 11, of Malaysia in the male division, and Molly Hallam, 15, of Australia in the female division.
FIRST NATIONWIDE INTER-SCHOOL STACKING COMPETITION
The first nationwide inter-school stacking challenge was also held as part of the competition. Marsiling Primary School emerged winner out of 10 teams from eight schools.
Some parents not only support their children in their pursuit of the sport, but also join them as a way to bond with them.
Thirty-six parent-child pairs also took part in a “doubles” event. Senior programme manager Steve Tubao (pictured), 42, paired up with his children, Paul, 11, and Mary, 14, for the competition.
To prepare for a competition, he practises for 30 minutes with each child every day for about two weeks leading up to it.
Their hard work made both parent-child duos the champions at the WSSA 2015 Asian Open in Malaysia last November. Mr Tubao and Paul also broke the Asian record in the parent-child doubles event for those aged 10 and under.
LOOKS SIMPLE, BUT IT WORKS BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN
“The sport looks simple, so you don’t know how difficult it is until you try it,” said Mr Tubao. “It exposes the kids to competition on an international level, and builds their self-esteem. It also distracts them from playing with their devices.”
Mr Tubao and his two children won in their “doubles” segments at the Singapore event yesterday.
Physical education teacher Muhammad Hairi Mohamad, 40, joined the sport at Northland Primary School about two years ago. Then, he was pleasantly surprised to find that sport stacking was part of the school’s PE programme.
“It improves the kids’ hand-eye coordination, focus and team spirit,” said Mr Hairi. “It also activates both the left and right brain better than many other sports.”
Here’s world champion sport stacker William Orrell in action:
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photo: Seah Kwang Peng)