Muscle power gets Tom up and away
PUBLISHED: 12:44 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 14:45 12 May 2010
SCHOOLBOY Thomas More has taken to the skies after winning a competition of a lifetime. Seven-year-old Thomas, a pupil at Millfield School, in Buntingford, won the chance to travel to school in a helicopter after successfully answering a series of questi
SCHOOLBOY Thomas More has taken to the skies after winning a competition of a lifetime.
Seven-year-old Thomas, a pupil at Millfield School, in Buntingford, won the chance to travel to school in a helicopter after successfully answering a series of questions relating to muscles in the body.
The competition was set by polar explorer Michael McGrath, the co-founder of the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF). Mr McGrath, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, was the first disabled person in the world to conquer both the North and South Poles.
He had visited Millfield School to talk about his experiences and the importance of muscles, and in exchange for their hard work offered pupils a chance to win the prize.
Mr McGrath, of Buntingford, said: "The children had great fun and it was a great opportunity to communicate with the pupils and raise awareness on muscle disorders.
"I believe that education has a vital role to play in bringing equality and diversity to life. Muscles bind us together, and give us the power to function and enable our ambitions and dreams to be achieved."
And a dream it was for Thomas, who wants to be a pilot when he is older. The Millfield pupil, who was accompanied by dad, Andy, got to sit in the front seat as the helicopter took off from Goodwood Aerodrome in Chichester and landed in the grounds of Freman College.
On landing, Thomas was greeted by more than 250 pupils and staff, as well as head teacher Debra Blizzard.
Mrs Blizzard said: "Thomas had an absolutely fantastic time. I can't explain it, but it was an extremely emotional morning.
"He's such a well deserving young man and you could tell he was really delighted to have won this experience of a lifetime.
"He's a little lad of very few words, but the trip had a huge impact on him. It was a wonderful day and all who were there enjoyed the experience greatly, especially Thomas.
"It was a wonderful opportunity and we would like to thank Michael McGrath for organising the event. He has had an astonishing affect on the children and he has encouraged them to look at those less able with consideration."
MHF is one of the leading charities in eradicating muscle disorders by raising funds and co-ordinating support and research world-wide. The charity has close educational links and has been working alongside Millfield School to raise awareness of the charity.