Jeffrey Lickwola, 9, enjoys football, basketball and baseball. But his favorite sport is cup stacking, and this weekend he hopes to break a record.
“It’s exciting,” he said, his hands resting after flying furiously to assemble the cups in various patterns. “I practice a lot and I just get faster.”
Lickwola is one of more than 45 children who will participate in the first Connecticut Sport Stacking Championship Saturday at St. Michael Center in Baltic.
Tournament director Glenn Costello said registered players hail from Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, along with various parts of Connecticut.
Costello became hooked on the sport after being introduced to it at a physical education conference in 2001.
Costello is the physical education teacher at St. Joseph School, the sponsor of the state championship, where he has held invitational tournaments for the past three years.
State and world records can be set at the championship, which is sanctioned by the World Sport Stacking Association.
“It improves focus, it improves the students’ concentration and eye-hand coordination,” Costello said of some of the benefits of working both sides of the brain. “It’s addicting.”
On Tuesday, stacking players in pre-kindergarten through third grade practiced at the school for the last time before the tournament. The gymnasium was filled with the sounds of plastic cups clacking and children occasionally shouting their times.
Each player stood at a table with at least nine plastic cups stacked in groups on a special surface mat and timer combination. The goal is to stack and unstack the cups — various patterns must be completed — as fast as possible.
Sydney Collins, 8, said the trick to stacking is “to go fast, but not too fast.”
“It’s fun and challenging,” she said. Collins practices at home, but usually does it in her room, because she’s too loud if she practices in the kitchen.
Gabe Records, 8, said, “It’s a fun thing to do after school so you don’t have to go home and get bored and watch TV.”
|What: Connecticut Sport Stacking Championship, sponsored by St. Joseph School|
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 8 a.m.
Where: St. Michael Center, Academy of the Holy Family, Baltic
Cost: $35 registration fee
About the championship: State and world records may be set. Certificates, medals and trophies will be awarded for various age categories, along with team relays and doubles awards. Speed stacks equipment will be on sale, along with refreshments and a limited amount of official championship T-shirts.