Royston virtual balloon race draws nearer

Balloons are now on sale for Royston Rotary Club's virtual balloon race. Picture: Royston Rotary Clu

Balloons are now on sale for Royston Rotary Club's virtual balloon race. Picture: Royston Rotary Club - Credit: Archant

The Rotary Club of Royston’s virtual balloon race is approaching, giving residents a chance to safely compete without harming themselves or the environment.

The race will take place on Monday, September 14, and all proceeds will go to charity – with balloons now on sale online.

Rotarian Tony Briar, from Bassingbourn, explained: “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 fund-raising 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, each winning a £10 book token.

“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.

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

Funds raised will go to Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambs, which has been supporting local families since 1983 – working alongside parents who are experiencing tough times.

Families experiencing issues such as post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems and bereavement receive support from volunteer family mentors.

The charity is particularly in need of help at the moment as families struggle to cope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea of the virtual balloon race came about when Royston Rotary Club’s annual kite festival was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Balloons are now on sale and you can find out more and buy them via the Royston Rotary Club website at

You can also purchase activation codes on behalf of family and friends so that they can join in the fun.

Tony added: “Go on, have a go! Social distancing needn’t take the fun out of fundraising!”