The name of his town in Mexico is La Reforma, and this coach is trying to reform the way kids in the community grow up.
Like a lot of citizens of the State of Sinaloa which is where La Reforma is located. Tomas Barraza is attempting to alter the perception that everyone who lives there is a drug dealer.
It’s a challenge that is difficult to overcome. The government is investing millions of dollars in infrastructure and security. But it’s not enough to keep some kids from the dangers of drug dealing.
Sinaloa has been referred to as the birthplace of Mexico’s drug cartels. And impressionable kids growing up in the state have limited opportunities for advancement. Often they look to the rich drug narcos as the symbols of success in society and they want to emulate them.
Tomas Barraza has found a new way to give these kids the sense of power they crave. He provides them with another outlet that helps shape their future weightlifting.
Not only does his gym give the area’s youth a place to go in their spare time after school, through the weightlifting competitions they attend, it allows them to experience travel and see the world as well. For this week’s Game Changer Tomas Barraza and some city kids who are pumping iron instead of packing heat.