SWIMMING fanatic Bob Holman said he is honoured and privileged to be carrying the Olympic flame through Abbot-sbury.

Mr Holman, of Affpuddle, founded the Bere Regis swimming club in 1976 and has been chairman ever since, enabling hundreds of children to enjoy the sport.

The grandfather-of-three said he could not wait to carry the torch on July 12.

He said: “I’m a great supporter of the Olympic movement, I think it’s going to be great for this country and I’m really looking forward to the summer.

“The torch is already on its way and seeing it making its way along the course really brings home the fact I’ll be a part of it.”

The Bere Regis swimming club has around 70 children, aged three to 16, learning to swim at any one time.

Mr Holman, 67, has also organised teaching qualifications for more than 50 parents and volunteers and gives older children the chance to begin teaching.

He said: “My interest in swimming is very wide and varied, as well as the club in Bere Regis I’m also chairman of the East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club and have been heavily involved in water polo in the county as well.

“I’m currently organising an open water swim event with 180 swimmers and I’ve even got a ticket for one of the Olympic open swim events in August.”

Adrian Stuart, who nominated Mr Holman, said the club made swimming fun.

He said: “The club atmosphere is informal, friendly and inclusive, very much taking its lead from Bob.

“He has also swum the Channel and is an enthusiastic champion of open water swimming.

“It’s amazing to see how many parents learned to swim with the club and are now bringing their own children to have the same experience.”