9:10am Wednesday 28th March 2012
HE will be holding the torch for Romsey in the countdown to the London games.
Ian Chalk (pictured) will proudly take the Olympic torch for a stint through Southampton as it makes its way through Hampshire.
The 47-year-old from Fishlake Meadows was selected by Games officials as a torchbearer in recognition of his work at Wellow Fitness Centre, in Ryedown Lane.
Ian coaches disabled and older people to help ward off illness and alleviate health problems.
He said: “It is tremendous. When I was nominated, I never in a million years thought I would be chosen, because there are many other people who have done such wonderful things who deserve to do it.
“The fact that the Olympics have come to this country for the first time since 1948 is fantastic and that the torch will be coming to the area is wonderful.”
Wellow Fitness Centre was last year voted one of the best independent gym facilities in Britain in the National Fitness Awards.
His father, Ron, a former pro-cyclist, set up the centre 12 years ago and inspired him to run from the age of 10. Now his son, Thomas, 8, is taking on the fitness baton and is said to be “excited” at his dad becoming an Olympic torchbearer.
The flaming torch will travel around the UK for 70 days and will be passing through Hampshire between Wednesday, July 11 and Monday, July 16.
But the route skips Romsey, instead passing through Andover and then Winchester and Kings Worthy on July 11.
Three days later, it will travel through Lyndhurst and then in the evening to Southampton where there will be an evening, celebration in Mayflower Park.
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