What did you accomplish on your Thursday afternoon?
Nearly 50 kids in the Warren County YMCA's Kids Be Fit Club were busy working their way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
By participating in the 7th Annual World Sport Stacking Association's (WSSA) Stack Up event and uniting with sport stackers worldwide, the club members were attempting to set a new world record for "most people sport stacking at multiple locations in one day."
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
How fast can you go?
Matthew Loewenheim, front, tries to break his personal best in the speed stacking event during a Warren County YMCA Kids Be Fit Club class Thursday at the YMCA. Looking on are classmates, from left, Owen Jacobsen, Andrew Seyler and Cameron Jacobsen. The foursome joined nearly 50 other classmates in participating in the 7th Annual World Sport Stacking Association Stack Up event. Local stackers joined stackers worldwide in trying to set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for most people sport stacking at multiple locations in one day.
Before we get too far into record breaking, let's start by defining this growing game known as "sport stacking."
Sport stacking has been termed a "track meet for your hands at warp speed." It is an exciting sport where students up stack and down stack 12 specially designed cups called Speed Stacks in predetermined sequences as fast as they can.
Stackers race against the clock, compete in relays and often combine sport stacking with fitness challenges as part of physical education classes.
According to Warren County YMCA Wellness Director Chris Dolan, the Warren-area youth have only recently been introduced to speed stacking, but they fully intend on continuing to learn the new activity.
"There's certainly a learning curve here because our kids are so new to it," said Dolan. "But there are a lot of different things you can attach to it such as relay events. It's great for hand-eye coordination, and it allows you to put a new spin on typical physical fitness challenges."
Friends Olivia English and Makenna Brown were present for the event and both enjoyed the challenge that sport stacking presents.
"My favorite part is downstacking," said English. "You really have to pay attention and concentrate if you want to go fast and beat your best times."
Brown added, "It takes a lot of focus and skill, but it's really really fun."
Thursday was Guinness World Records Day around the globe and sport stackers from all reaches of the world - including Warren - were up stacking and down stacking various pyramids in prescribed patterns at lightning speed for at least 30 minutes.
Last year, 412,259 stackers participated in the event. That number smashed the previous world record of 316,736. On Thursday, the WSSA was hoping to reach the 450,000 milestone. That number includes stackers from all across the United States and countries such as Hungary, Germany, Israel, South Africa, New Zealand, Columbia and Taiwan.
Most of the clubbers in attendance were intrigued by the opportunity to be part of a new world record. While it could be days or even weeks before the fate of the record attempt will be announced, that didn't stop club members from fully enjoying themselves Thursday.
Kids Be Fit member Joe Greene was intrigued knowing how many people around the world were participating in the same activity.
"Knowing that there are so many people all over the world doing this same thing today is pretty exciting," said Greene. "My favorite part of stacking is seeing how many different kinds of towers I can make and what other things other people come up with."
Andrew Seyler added, "Thinking about being in the Guinness Book of World Records is pretty cool." Seyler said it was fun to be to there with other friends on Thursday and to see "whether they could do it fast or if they would mess up."
Sport stacking is present in more than 35,000 schools and youth organizations worldwide. It's appealing to teachers and students because it's easy to learn, but very challenging to master. Benefits include improved reaction time, hand-eye coordination, concentration and focus.