Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
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10 August 2010 | PR 10/125

Loughborough flies up, up and away!

Loughborough University took to the skies last weekend, as the Students’ Union unveiled its new, University-branded hot air balloon.

On Sunday (8 August) a group of current and former Loughborough students, along with a select number of University staff, were able to enjoy the balloon’s maiden flight over the town and surrounding Leicestershire countryside.

The new ‘envelope’ - the technical name for the balloon’s inflatable bag – has been donated to the Union by the University.  Its purchase was supported by Loughborough University Development Trust, which raises funds from former students and other friends of the University.

The envelope features the Loughborough logo, set in a broad striped design in the University’s traditional pink and purple colours.

The Hot Air Ballooning Club is one of the Students’ Union’s 50 or so societies, which enable students to get involved in a range of social activities - and contribute significantly to the Loughborough’s award-winning Student Experience.

Loughborough’s club is one of just four university hot air ballooning clubs in the UK.  It has been flying for over twenty years. 

Over that period, its previous envelope had deteriorated, meaning the Club wasn’t able to carry as many people any more.  The new envelope will allow the Club to increase its number of passengers.  It is expected that in excess of 1,000 people will fly in the new Loughborough-branded balloon during its lifetime.

Stephen Law, Chair of the Ballooning Club, said: “The new envelope looks really great.  We’re all really proud of Loughborough and this is a great way to promote the University right across the UK.  And of course it’s also good that it’s enabling us, and other students in the future, to engage in our passion for ballooning.”

Bryan Johnston, administrator of the University’s Development Trust, added: “This new balloon is the culmination of many years’ hard work by past and present members of the Club, the Students’ Union and the University.  We are deeply grateful to former members of the Club who donated specifically for the balloon, and to the many other Loughborough alumni who donated via the Development Trust.”

Andrew Cooney, the University’s Marketing Communications Manager, commented: “We’re really pleased to have been able to support the Ballooning Club, and the Loughborough Student Experience, in this way.  It was great to see the University’s name flying high in the sky.”

The new balloon will be used at several of the University’s and Students’ Union’s forthcoming events, as well as community events.  It will also be flown at UK festivals and even overseas.

Its next outing will be at the Bristol Balloon Festival this coming weekend, which will see over 150 balloons take part in the four-day event - the largest festival of its kind in Europe this year.

Balloon Slideshow

Prime Minister Gordon Brown talking to students


For further information contact:

Karen Roxborough
Marketing and PR Assistant
Loughborough University
T: 01509 2222186
E: K.R.Roxborough@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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