Royston Rotary Club to launch virtual balloon race for charity

Royston Rotary Club is holding a virtual balloon race to raise money for charity and keep families e

Royston Rotary Club is holding a virtual balloon race to raise money for charity and keep families entertained during lockdown. Picture: Royston Rotary Club - Credit: Archant

Royston’s Rotary Club is launching a virtual balloon race to help people have fun in an eco-friendly way during lockdown.

The project is part of a national event and will take off on September 14, with an aim to keep families entertained and prevent the harm to the environment posed by real balloon races.

Rotarian Tony Briar, from Bassingbourn, said: “First you buy your virtual balloon – as few or as many as you like – from the club at £3 each. You get to choose the shape, colour and helium content.

“Then it will be launched to race for seven days against, hopefully, thousands of others from around 20 fundraising causes.

“It will respond just like a real balloon to wind, temperature and weather and you can track its progress on Google Earth. Those balloons which travel the furthest in a week will be judged the winners.

“The first prize is £500, the second an Apple iPad, and there are lots of lesser prizes. And if the Royston club manages to sell more than 500 balloons, then the one from our area that goes the furthest will get an extra £50.

“We think the event will particularly appeal to youngsters and we are appealing to mums and dads to support us.

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“Go on, have a go. Lockdown needn’t take the fun out of fundraising!”

The balloon race follows the cancellation of the Rotary Club’s annual kite festival due to coronavirus.

Funds raised from the virtual race will go towards the Royston club’s nominated charity Home-Start (Royston, Buntingford and South Cambs). Home-Start has been supporting families sine 1983, working to support those with young children through challenging times.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity has been forced to cease all face-to-face home visiting and family support group activities, but is continuing to support families via phone and video link where possible.

Balloons will not be for sale until early July, but you can find out more at the Royston Rotary Club website at and fill out a form to express an interest in taking part, with no commitment to buy.

To contact Home-Start call 01763 262262 or email