Stacking cups isn't all child's play

Mr Steve Tubao and his son Paul taking part in the World Sport Stacking Association 2016 Singapore Open held at the Orchid Country Club over the weekend. Mr Tubao also formed a pair with his daughter, Mary. Both pairs won in their "doubles" segments
Mr Steve Tubao and his son Paul taking part in the World Sport Stacking Association 2016 Singapore Open held at the Orchid Country Club over the weekend. Mr Tubao also formed a pair with his daughter, Mary. Both pairs won in their "doubles" segments yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

International sport stacking championship includes doubles segment for parent-child pairs

Many people were handling plastic cups at the Orchid Country Club over the 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 the 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.

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.

Yesterday, 36 parent-child pairs took part in a "doubles" event.

Senior programme manager Steve Tubao, 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.

"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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Stacking cups isn't all child's play'. Print Edition | Subscribe