A 7 year old pupil from Millfield First & Nursery School in Buntingford, Hertfordshire was sky high as he enjoyed a helicopter flight to school on Monday 17th July 2006 after winning a special competition set by local celebrity and polar explorer Michael McGrath.
The chopper carried Thomas Moore and his father Andrew from Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex to the school playing fields of Freeman College in Buntingford.
Thomas won the school run of a lifetime in a muscle competition organised by The Muscular Help Foundation [MHF]. His winning name was drawn out of a colourful hat at the end of an educational talk about muscles, polar bears, penguins and polar places, delivered to the school by Michael McGrath as part of an exciting morning assembly!
The three questions and the answers were as follows:
Question 1: Which is the strongest muscle in our body?
Answer = To the best of my belief, the most powerful muscle in the body is probably the gluteus maximus. This is the muscle that makes up the buttock region of the body and is also one of the body’s largest muscles. Relative to size, the strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
Question 2: How many muscles are there in the human body?
Answer = 656 the number of muscles in an adult does not increase with exercise. The cells simply get bigger.
Question 3: How many muscles does it take to smile?
Answer = 10 muscles to smile and 12 muscles to frown
Charity Co-founder Mr McGrath, the only disabled man to have trekked to both the North Pole and the South Poles wants to raise awareness among schoolchildren of the importance of muscles.
A memorable prize was offered in exchange for their hard work in class and over £100 in donations was raised by Millfield pupils and parents.
Mr McGrath, who has muscular dystrophy, said “I think that this event will be something for the Millfield children and their families to remember and I hope that they will now know what it means to have muscles that works properly”.
I was really happy because I sat in the front seat of the helicopter and the pilot showed me how fast we were going and all the different controls. I want to be a pilot when I grow up because I like being up in the air”.
Dad Andrew said “Thomas has always wanted to be a helicopter pilot so it was a trip of a lifetime for him. It was the perfect day for it. The sky was so clear we could see for miles as we came up across London and then up the Lea Valley to Buntingford. I think doing something like this in the local community was a great way to raise awareness of the charity”.
Millfield First & Nursery School head teacher Debra Blizzard said: “It was a fantastic experience and very emotional. We had one letter from a parent who thanked Michael McGrath for organising the event. She described him as a ‘courageous person and a great inspiration to us all’.