Teen stacker quick on the draw in Germany

By Zaryd Wilson

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Fast hands and an ability to concentrate is taking one Turakina teenager around the world.

Caleb Arthur captained the New Zealand Black Stacks team to Speichersdorf in Germany over Easter where they grabbed a 20-plus medal haul at the World Sport Stacking Championships. The Turakina teenager has been involved in sport stacking for about seven years having discovered a talent for it early on. He's now among the best in the world.

Sport stacking involves competitors stacking 12 cups in sets of sequences. Three sets of stacks takes Caleb about 5.40 seconds.

"Stacking is a very good thing for eye-hand co-ordination and it helps develop your brain, using left and right sides," the 17-year-old said.

"It's just a sport that you can do at home and it's only you. It's just really fun, especially when you get fast - you enjoy it quite a lot more."

It's primarily a younger person's game but Caleb said his whole family played the sport.

"Not many adults do it," he said. "There were still quite a few because it was the worlds but it's more younger people."

Caleb was introduced to the sport by friends and within days was producing times some practise for years to achieve.

"I asked them to show me, and I got into it and couldn't stop," he said. "I just loved it, because it was something I could do and I was pretty good at."

He first made the national team in 2012 heading to Germany for the world champs and again the following year, heading to Florida. Though picked in the team, he skipped the next two world champs before returning this year.

It was his best world champs to date, with a range of fourth and third placings including second in the world for the 363 timed relay.

Caleb is now ranked second in the country but remains 17 split seconds off the pace. "So it's quite a long way. He's a lot faster," he said. But the number one spot is something he is chasing.

"You just practise, really. Practice makes perfect. Sometimes you have good days and sometimes you don't have very good days."

He practises for about 30 minutes a day leading up to major competitions.

"It's a lot easier out of competition. At home, you can break your records a lot easier, but in competition you get a bit more nervous, and it's a lot harder," he said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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