In October, I visited Cumberland’s GLG Athletic Performance Facility. GLG or Get Large Garage is a baseball and sports conditioning facility located inside Upper Deck Baseball Academy. I met Jason Oldham, his staff, his baseball player clients, and got a great tour of the facility. During our meeting, Jason told me about an annual tradition at GLG – The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Throw Down. I recently caught up with Jason via email to learn more about the event, its roots, and the reason behind the event. Here is more from Coach Jason Oldham of GLG Athletic Performance:
“Here is the whole concept behind the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Throw Down. The event was created 7 years ago while I was training out of my two car garage and had minimal amount of clients. Back when I went to high school (at East Providence High School) Thanksgiving morning it was always tradition to wake up early and head to a packed house at Pierce Field to watch the Townies take on the Lasalle Rams. Part of the tradition was to not only watch the game but also to catch up with friends new and old on what everyone has been up too. Always a good time before parting ways to meet up with family to enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast.
As more and more high schools started to move away from a Thanksgiving game playing it the night before Thanksgiving or even a Saturday afternoon game I was thinking of a way to establish that type of tradition but through the gym. I originally established the Thanksgiving workout as many of the high school athletes I trained were looking for something to do while family’s prepared The Thanksgiving meal that would often start early in the morning. Kids from the gym would come in and enjoy a quick basic workout enjoy a small breakfast and social to catch up on what everyone has been up to since they last saw each other over the summer. This same tradition is now on its seventh year.
With being an elementary school teacher I see a lot of different families who struggle to provide their child with truly special holiday. As much as the holiday is about being with loved ones its hard to try an explain that to a child who is trying to keep up with everyone else in the class. With this being said after the first successful year of the event I decided to make it a charitable one. Every member who participates in the event is required to bring in one or more toy for toys for tots. The event starts early at 6:30am and ends at 9. A basic workout is written on a whiteboard for each member to follow, as all other workouts throughout the year are individualized. Once the athlete has gone through the workout they compete against each other in a timed gauntlet that is set up similar to a time relay that bunches together different exercises that need to be completed. This year we had close to 25 of the top high school, college and pro athletes around the state taking part in the event. Once everyone is finished all breakfast items were dropped off for a homeless family while all toys will be sent out after about a week and a half so other members of the GLG can donate.”
It is so great getting to know these great coaches and baseball resources here in Rhode Island. GLG Athletic Performance Facility is a class organization with a huge following all over Rhode Island. Great tradition of giving back to the community as well. Great job Coach Jason Oldham, the players, and everyone involved in the now LEGENDARY Thanksgiving Day Turkey Throw Down!
For more on GLG, follow them on Facebook by clicking here – GLG Athletic Performance