AN EASTLEIGH man has said it will be a privilege to carry the Queen's Baton ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Veteran Rob Shenton has been selected along with hundreds of others in the region to be part of the baton relay ahead of the Games in July.

Next month the Queen's relay baton, which is travelling through 72 Commonwealth countries and territories, is scheduled to arrive at the city.

After touring the 72 Commonwealth countries, it begins a five-day Platinum Jubilee tour of London and stops at 180 venues around England.

The 49-year-old was shocked when he was asked to take part. He said: "It came as a surprise, and I am feeling really good about it." 

Rob served in the military for 25 years. He has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and twice in Afghanistan.

Rob retired from the army in 2016 after struggling with PTSD.

After retiring, he had to completely "rebuild his life." While figuring out how to improve his health, Rob found solace in running.

As his passion for running grew, he started to take part in marathons.

Rob has taken part in ultra-marathons and is one of the few people to have participated in the North Pole marathon. 

Over the years, he has raised more than £20,000 for charities, including Project Reece, which assists veterans in finding employment in the construction industry and Help for Heroes, a charity that supports UK armed forces and military veterans.

To help others struggling with mental health, he set up Mental Health Champions at Southampton Athletic Club and regularly leads Run and Talk sessions for club members.

Currently, Rob is training for the 2023 Invictus Game. While training for the games is underway, he really hopes to qualify for the 50m and 100m events. 

He is now engaged to his fiance Martha Williams.

The Queen's Baton relay started in October last year. It will arrive in Southampton on Monday, July 6 at 4.28pm. 

Palmerston Road will serve as the starting point for the relay, which will then travel to Park Walk, East Park, the Cenotaph, and Above Bar Street.

The baton will then proceed up Bargate Street to complete its route through Southampton before arriving at Western Esplanade.

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