10 (ish) minutes with: Luke Carson (Ireland)


Back in October we introduced Ireland’s Luke Carson who had just underwent serious surgery on a leg injury. We caught up with Luke recently to see how the last few months have gone in terms of rehabilitation and of course, whether he is training again in Huntingdon Gymnastics Club.

Full Twist: Luke, we met back in October and discussed your serious leg injury which resulted in an operation, a long stint out of training and a lot of recuperation time. You got the go ahead to resume full training some time ago, how has training been going?

Luke Carson: Training has been going well, I am defiantly moving forward in the the right direction, it has been a long journey from when I first developed the pain, to surgery, to now..and I am over the moon I am competing all 6 events again.

FT: Fantastic, what have you been doing to get yourself back into shape?

LC: Well as I was out of gymnastics training for four months, it was a big mountain to climb getting back fit, and even harder getting back fit for all 6 events! But with the help of Phil Graham, who sponsors me with Clear Cut Fitness. He set out a diet specifically developed for me and my objectives in gym. I now feel stronger than I have before and slowly but surely getting back to being an All Around gymnast. I sat down with my personal coach Paul Hall MBE and Ben Howells and developed a specific programme for me – to return to all 6 pieces again.

FT: Have you been making up for lost training time since returning to the gym?
LC: I have adopted a new attitude in the gym and that is “all or nothing” there is no time for nerves and doubts anymore. I feel I have a lot more in the tank and with a little pinch of luck I will show everybody what I am capable of.
FT: You competed at the English Championships last weekend, how did that go, it being your first competition since your operation?
LC: It went well in some aspects, and not so well in others. My main agenda was to go out and compete on all 6 apparatus again, which I did. I have a lot more difficulty to put in for British and Europeans so there is room for improvement.
I had a silly mistake on pommels which meant I lost difficulty and also a 1 mark deduction. I also had a nasty fall on high bar where I missed my 2nd release and catch and landed on my side on the floor (rather comically) by punching myself in the face. The judges also seemed to have gotten my start value wrong by a large amount, but by the time we had realised it as too late but it wasn’t important. I had a personal best on Rings with my basic routine so hopefully a lot more in the bag!
FT: Where are you looking to for the rest of the year? World Cups? Europeans?
LC: I guess ultimately it will depend on funding, without funding I won’t be doing any of the internationals and unfortunately will have to finish gym all together. With funding I aim for World Cup finals, and European AA finals.
FT: Tell us a bit about your training schedule? How many days? Hours?
LC: I train 32 hours plus at Huntingdon Gymnastics Centre, with a great team of gymnasts including Daniel Keatings, Cameron McKenzie and Tom Gibbs, all members of the GB top squad. Check out our climbing the mountain videos!
I train 2 sessions per day 4 days per week and 1 session for the remainder two sessions. I am about to start a new training schedule but that is top secret 🙂
FT: If you could have dinner with 3 gymnasts from any period – former or current, male or female – who would they be?
1) Catalina Ponor as she is a very pretty lady and I think we would have a good dinner date 😉
2) Dimitri Karbanenko as he was a tall/ large gymnast too and I would like to know how he managed it!
3) And Louis Smith as he has been a great friend and he is also good craic!
FT: Many countries have National Training Centres or Camps where the National Teams regularly come together and train. Is it odd for you that Ireland does not have one? It can be months at a time until you see your team mates. How does it feel having Andy and Rohan in the USA and Chris, Anthony & Kieran in Tolworth?
It is odd and to be honest I don’t think it is ideal for any National Team, to be constantly apart, it is good to train and work as a team at least several times a year. We all keep in contact with one another, but it is important to work with one another too, even more so for the coaches involved.
Thanks to Luke for taking the time out of his busy schedule to catch up with Full Twist. Let’s hope that enough funding comes through or sponsorship to keep this gymnast going at what he loves to do. To get in touch in relation to sponsorship opportunities contact Luke’s representatives at MG Sports Management.
Image via Luke Carson.

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