Young Ki­wis get ready to stack up against best

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - SAMHEWAT

New Zealand’s very own cup stack­ing team is gear­ing up to face the world’s best.

The Black Stacks flew out of Auck­land yes­ter­day to com­pete in the World Sport Stack­ing Cham­pi­onships in Tai­wan.

They will com­pete along­side 450 other par­tic­i­pants over three days as they vie for in­ter­na­tional glory.

The sport is in­creas­ing in pop­u­lar­ity world­wide with the World Sport Stack­ing As­so­ci­a­tion set­ting a Gui­ness World Record in 2015 for hav­ing 618,394 peo­ple sport stack­ing at mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions in one day.

And the sport of cup stack­ing is no easy mea­sure with a high level of co­or­di­na­tion and ac­cu­racy re­quired.

Black Stacks coach Richard Foster, who is at­tend­ing his sec­ond world cham­pi­onship event, said it was a great op­por­tu­nity for the Ki­wis to see how they stack up.

‘‘It’s an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for some of th­ese kids who have never com­peted overseas be­fore,’’ Foster said.

‘‘A cou­ple of th­ese guys have com­peted in world cham­pi­onships be­fore and, given the ex­pe­ri­ence they’ve gained from that, we’re look­ing for them to do even bet­ter this year.’’

Foster’s son, Ash­ley, is 13-years-old and is also at­tend­ing his sec­ond world cham­pi­onship. He fell in love with cup stack­ing af­ter watch­ing videos on YouTube and said it had be­come more than just a hob­bie.

‘‘I’ve been prac­tis­ing ev­ery day,’’ Ash­ley said.

‘‘I love com­pet­ing and mak­ing friends with all the peo­ple I com­pete against.’’

Also in the New Zealand team are Glen­dowie Col­lege twins Tate and Gryf­fen King, both 12, who are at­tend­ing their first world cham­pi­onship event and will com­pete in the dou­bles sec­tion.

‘‘With in­di­vid­u­als, you just fo­cus on your­self, but with dou­bles you have to both be watch­ing what the other per­son is do­ing,’’ Gryf­fen said.

While the sport is pri­mar­ily for chil­dren, with most peak­ing at 19, adults can also com­pete in their own cat­e­gory.

Foster said it was the chal­lenge of want­ing to im­prove that kept peo­ple lov­ing the sport.

‘‘It’s one of those things, you think you can al­ways go a lit­tle bit faster,’’ he said. ‘‘Like any great sport, it’s easy to learn but im­pos­si­ble to mas­ter.’’

‘‘Like any great sport, it's easy to learn but im­pos­si­ble to mas­ter’’

CHRIS SKEL­TON/FAIRFAX NZ

Ash­ley Foster, 13, will travel to Tai­wan with New Zealand’s Black Stacks for the 2017 World Sport Stack­ing Cham­pi­onships.

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