As the son of Cagle’s Gym founder Charlie Thompson, Bill Thompson learned the business from his father at the famous Marietta training facility and knew that he wanted to open up a gym of his own someday.
That dream has become a reality for Thompson, who is opening TD Athletics at 1470 Williams Drive, Suite A in Marietta.
The new facility, which is already conducting classes, will have its grand opening on Saturday from noon until 6 p.m.
“Everything is going great,” Thompson said. “We’re working with some high school athletes, a few basketball players. Everything is going according to schedule.”
Thompson’s inspiration is his father Charlie, who opened up Cagle’s Gym on Marietta Square in 1977.
Cagle’s Gym has been the go-to place for local athletes, professional wrestlers and bodybuilders for the past three decades and it is where Thompson developed his passion for and knowledge of athletic training.
“Pretty much everything that I know about training comes from Charlie Thompson and Cagle’s Gym,” Thompson said. “I grew up around the Ultimate Warrior and other big-time wrestlers who were working out there. I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life and I wanted to open my own place, like my dad did.”
It was that environment that inspired Thompson to pursue an athletic career at Marietta High School, where he spent four years on the football and track teams and two years on the basketball squad.
After his graduation from Marietta in 2003, Thompson went on to play football on the college level at Middle Tennessee State, where he was a defensive back.
It was in April that Thompson’s dream began to take shape when he teamed up with Phil Sriskishun, a businessman with international management experience in the U.S. and Asia.
“I’ve been working on this for years and years, but I wanted to wait until I could do it right,” Thompson said. “(Sriskishun) has helped me turn my dream into a reality — I couldn’t do it without him.”
Along with his business partner Sriskishun, the other member of Thompson’s management team is facility athletic director Thad Turner, a childhood friend of Turner’s who was a football teammate of his at Marietta and who went on to earn a spot in the NFL on the New England Patriots’ practice squad in 2010 and ’11.
“Thad is a big part of TD Athletics,” Thompson said. “He’s been a friend of mine for over 10 years and we’ve been teammates. He brings a lot to the table for TD Athletics.”
The facility will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
While the facility’s main niche will be training high school and college athletes, Thompson said that classes will also be available for the general public as well.
It will offer programs in speed and agility and strength and conditioning programs as well as sport and specific position training for its high school and college athletes.
For Thompson, making a difference in the community and creating a family atmosphere will be his main focus, just as it was for his father at Cagle’s Gym.
“We don’t just want to build better athletes at TD Athletics, though that is important, we want to help build better lives,” Thompson said. “We want to create a family atmosphere at TD Athletics, we want to be a family here. I want to really make a difference in the community in Marietta, like my father has. That’s what TD Athletics is all about.”
While Thompson is focused on building TD Athletics in Marietta right now, he has a vision of expanding the business not only nationally, but eventually on the international stage as well.
“This is about building the brand,” Thompson said. “We want to build this brand as solid as possible in Marietta, Georgia. This is our baby, so we have to nuture it and let it grow before we move on to other major cities. From there, we are looking to move into New York, Miami. L.A., Houston or Dallas and then in 10 years, we’ll take it out of the country and build TD Athletics to become an international brand.”