Balloon race is virtually ready to go
THE sky’s the limit for one lucky East Cheshire school this summer with a £500 cash prize up for grabs from a very 21st century race.
The Virtual Balloon Race, being organised by the fundraising team at East Cheshire Hospice, is a modern twist on a traditional balloon race and is attracting lots of interest with more than 300 balloons about to be launched next week.
However, these balloons will exist only online within a software programme that uses real weather data and Google maps for real-time flight path tracking, testing the balloon calculations to see which flies the furthest.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to the race – everybody has said how different it is and how great it is that the whole family can get involved,” said community fundraiser Leah Goodhind.
“You can completely design your balloon from the thickness of the rubber to the amount of helium and then the shape, colour, size.”
The race is open to both individuals and schools and signed up so far to take part are Ash Grove, Tytherington and Gawsworth primary schools and The Kings School.
Individuals are being asked to nominate a school and the £500 cash prize is being donated by MAC Multi-Activity Centre who nominated the hospice as their charity of the year when they opened 10 months ago.
“We’ve organised several fundraising events for the hospice including some themed skate sessions,” said MAC Activity founder and manager, Andy Brooks.
“I’m a big supporter of the hospice – it’s a great local cause which is close to many hearts.” There are further prizes available for individuals including £100 worth of family vouchers as the first prize.
Balloons are still available to buy online for just £3 and it’s the personalised choices which will inform the computer calculations.
Bigger balloons may fly further but could explode whilst thinner balloons may fly higher but may be subject to wind conditions.
The balloon ‘launch’ takes place next Monday, July 4 at 3pm, with a computer calculating the winning balloons that fly the furthest depending on tracking information from 8,000 weather stations around the world.
“We’re very excited about the race and hope it is something we can run each year and get more and more schools involved,” said Leah Goodhind.
There’s still some time left to buy your virtual balloon.
To find out more please visit www.rabr.co/ech or call 01625 433477.
●● Members of the East Cheshire Hospice fundraising team preparing for their first-ever Virtual Balloon Race – (from left) Leah Goodhind and Lisa Ball