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Thursday, March 15, 2012
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take on the world
By JESSICA SUTTON
In training: Speed stacking duo Caleb, 13, and Brianna, 16, Arthur are training
at least an hour a day before they head overseas to take on the rest of the world.
A Turakina brother and sister duo
are taking their speed stacking
skills to Germany to represent New
Zealand in the world champion-
Using both hands, both sides of
the brain and a lot of concentration
are keys to stacking cups with
In April, Brianna Arthur, 16, and
Caleb, 13, will leave New Zealand
for the first time to compete in the
2012 World Sport Stacking Cham-
pionships in Germany.
Speed stacking is an individual
and team sport in which competi-
tors have to stack and unstack 12
specially designed plastic cups in a
The Turakina duo were selected
for the team event at the national
speed stacking competition, held in
Palmerston North last year. They
are now training to prepare for the
We re training for about an hour
a day at the moment, Brianna said.
We will probably do more closer
to the time, though. Maybe a few
For almost four years, the
Arthurs, who are homeschooled,
have been speed stacking and com-
peting in events throughout the
country. The pair were excited
about making it into the New Zea-
land team, she said.
It s kind of weird [to be in the
New Zealand team] but it s pretty
exciting. I ve been on a plane before
when I was much younger but Caleb
has never been on one.
Speed stacking is a family affair
for the Arthurs, with nine of the 11
family members taking part in com-
They all know how to do it,
Brianna said. I taught my youngest
sister how to do it. She s really good
Two-year-old Bronte won the
under-5 category at the national
event in October last year.
Their mother, Marie, said her
children had an advantage over
other competitors because they were
homeschooled and lived together.
They have plenty of time to train
together and help each other out.
They re very fast and good at it.
They work really well together.
The New Zealand speed stacking
team includes the Arthurs, and four
stackers from the Hutt Valley. They
compete as individuals, pairs and as
Each competitor has had to fund-
raise to get to the world event, and
the Arthurs have to raise at least
$8000 before April.
They have raised $5000 from
garage sales and selling scratchy
cards, but with only a month to go
Brianna said they needed to raise
about $100 a day.
United States teams would be the
toughest competitors because they
had the fastest international times
at the moment, Brianna said.
The Arthurs go to the Whanganui
Open Championships on Saturday,
which will be the first time the New
Zealand team competes and trains
Naomi Moore was at
the Turakina Maori
Girls College Gala
Day in Marton on
Saturday to spend
time with her Aunty
and to share in the
arts and crafts and
delicious food on
offer.Photo: ALI MORGAN
More photos on page 4
By MATHEW GROCOTT
The speed of installation of ultrafast
broadband has surprised some
schools, the Rangitikei District
Council has heard.
Chorus industry and communi-
cations manager Gerard Lindstrom
told the council at its last meeting
that 51 rural schools would be con-
nected to higher-speed internet con-
nections by the end of June.
We re a long way into getting
schools connected, he said.
I think the big challenge for
them now is working out what
they re going to do with it.
A total of 12 schools would be con-
nected in the 12 months from July
and another five in the next year.
Some schools were using the tech-
nology for distance learning, con-
necting pupils to teachers at other
schools who taught subjects that
would not otherwise be available.
Others were using it for profes-
sional development by linking
teachers to educators in larger
centres. Some schools were making
the broadband connection available
to the wider community.
Chorus and Vodafone were
responsible for installing the infra-
structure for the bulk of the
Government s Rural Broadband
Initiative. Under the scheme,
Chorus was focused on connecting
schools and hospitals, and Vodafone
looked after private users.
Marton missed out on inclusion in
the rural and urban schemes but
would be picked up by a third
broadband scheme, Mr Lindstrom
Marton is one of several towns
covered by a $15 million pro-
There were several semi- urban
schools included in the third pro-
gramme and many would not
require much work to connect to the
broadband networks being installed
in the first two schemes.
Higher-speed broadband would
help towns like Marton attract
residents, Mr Lindstrom said.
The winner of the Central Districts Field Days tickets was Peter Ritter, of Marton. The Field Days run from today
till Saturday at Manfeild Park.
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