Camden students stack up in a worldwide challenge

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Photo by James A. McBride

school1-webTimothy Heatwole Shenk, physical education teacher at Sacred Heart School, Camden, helps students participate in a sport stacking event.

CAMDEN — On Thursday, Nov. 18, Sacred Heart School students here “stacked up” with individuals from all around the globe to break a world record.

Seventy fourth- fifth- and sixth -graders participated in the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA)’s 2010 Stack Up!, which aimed to break its own 2009 Guinness World Record for “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.”

In sport stacking, participants up stack and down stack 12 specially designed cups, called Speed Stacks, in predetermined sequences and in various pyramids, as fast as they can. At Sacred Heart, students stacked for 30 minutes, joining other participants from the United States, Germany, Japan, Australia, Columbia, Singapore and the U.K.

The WSSA reports that sport stacking is in more than 32,000 schools and youth organizations worldwide.

Two years ago, the school’s physical education teacher, Timothy Heatwole Shenk introduced his students to sports stacking after learning about its benefits at a physical education convention.

“The students found it to be engaging,” he said. “It’s a great activity for hand-eye coordination, concentration and focus.”

Shenk noted that the students’ response to sport stacking has been so positive that he ordered a set of 12 cups for each student to use during physical education classes, and one set for each classroom. As well, students have also gotten sets to practice at home and to teach their family members how to stack.

Sport stacking “is something they can get excited about, see their progress and challenge themselves in a tangible way,” Shenk said.

After completing the 30 minutes of stacking on the 18th, Shenk sent in his numbers to the WSSA. The 2009 Guinness record of 276,053 stackers was broken this year, with the official 2010 count of 316,757 sport stackers from 1,627 schools, in 25 countries.

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