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Bishop's Stortford primary school St Michael's signs up to Virtual Valentine's Balloon Race from Eiffel Tower

A balloon race with a difference is hoped to keep a Bishop’s Stortford school's IT mission afloat.

Trustees of the parent-teacher association of St Michael’s C of E (VA) Primary in Apton Road have signed up for the Valentine’s Day virtual event to raise money for IT equipment for pupils studying at home during lockdown – and for “everyday necessities for the school which have become a luxury with the strain put on school budgets by the current health crisis”.

Head Jo Fradd said: “We're so close to reaching our target of £2,500 to buy IT equipment for the children that so desperately need it. The virtual balloon race will ensure the PTA’s fundraising efforts continue and hopefully offer some entertainment during this challenging time.”

Jessica Gorman, who is now a reception pupil at St Michael's (44105020)
Jessica Gorman, who is now a reception pupil at St Michael's (44105020)

The PTA has signed up to the world’s only virtual balloon race system, developed by Purepages Group in Manchester, as an eco-friendly way to raise money.

It is a seven-day computer simulation race where everything is real except for the balloon. The software uses live weather data to determine the progress of each balloon, which can be tracked on Google Maps and Satellites once launched.

A virtual balloon costs £3. Entrants can give it a name, colour, shape and pattern and add different features such as weight, which will determine its flight performance in order to enhance chances of winning. The Valentine’s Day race will ‘set off’ from the Eiffel Tower in Paris on February 14.

Virtaul balloon race (44105018)
Virtaul balloon race (44105018)

First prize, for the balloon that travels furthest, is £500, second prize is an Apple iPad and there are 10 prizes of £10 book tokens. To get your balloon or to find out more, go to https://ecoracing.co/user/page/1296.

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