Shropshire Rubik's Cube whizz ready to impress competing at top level

The precise and fast-paced art of 'speedcubing' has become recognised across the world and now an 11-year-old Shropshire boy has qualified to take part in a major competition later this month which will also include the current World Champion.

James Ireland, aged 11 and from Shawbury, is competing in a speed solving competition later this month
James Ireland, aged 11 and from Shawbury, is competing in a speed solving competition later this month

James Ireland, a pupil at St Mary's Primary School at Shawbury, only picked up a Rubik's Cube from a store less than a year ago.

He quickly learned the algorithms required to solve the cube and discovered the art of speedcubing, which was recently highlighted by a Netflix documentary featuring world championship players Max Park and Felix Zemdegs.

James took part in his first official UK Cubing Association competition at Cheltenham in June where he gained his first records with the World Cubing Association.

During only his second competition, held at Droitwich last month, he managed to complete a 2 x 2 cube in just 2.61 seconds, placing him 213th in the country at that time.

He also gained a new World Cubing Association personal best record for a 4 x 4 cube.

Now James is preparing to take part in a competition at the Coventry Building Society to compete in the UK Cubing Championships where he is entered into the 3 x 3, 2 x 2, 4 x 4 and the skewb competitions.

Skewb contests involve cubes with corners that turn at angles.

James, who celebrated his 11th birthday this week, will be among 500 competitors from around the world taking part in the event, including Max Park.

He said: "I am absolutely blown away to be competing with champions.

"I am hoping to beat my own personal best record for the 3 x 3 of 25.97 seconds."

Mother-of-two Heather Ireland, aged 43, from Shawbury, who runs online parenting website, said: "The next competition will see 500 people of all ages and abilities taking part on October 29 and October 30 and these will include the World Champion Max Park.

"His father, Robert, who works for Aquilla in Air Traffic Management, and myself are so super proud of what he is doing.

"It is less than a year since he picked up a Rubik's Cube.

"James has said that eventually he would love to become famous as a number one speed cuber or work in cyber security."

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