I've had an idea for this type of project for a long time now but, haven't had the finances to do so. Now that I am at the OTC, I am in a better financial situation to "pay it forward" if you will and help others.
This TPS Project I am starting is my way of trying to help out other weightlifters. I know what it's like to be in need. We had a JR camp here recently and I heard about some talented lifters who didn't have good food to eat at home or money to buy the things they need yet, are talented enough to get invited to camps and qualify for the Jr. National Championships. How are athletes supposed to succeed when they have a hard time just taking care of the basics.
What does the TPS project do? I provide care packages for lifters in financial need. Care packages can include anything within my budget that can help the lifter. It saves them from using their money on things for training that they could be using for groceries or gas to get to training. The first three boxes I made included: money for groceries, Team USA sticker, block of chalk, roll of sport's tape, nuun hydration tablets, two powerbar brand protein bars, a pair of weightlifting straps, and a hand-written note from me.
Recently, my coach and team experienced tragedy. My coach's middle son passed away a few days after Christmas and was a big shock to all of us. My heart aches for my coach and his family. TPS stands for Timothy Patrick Swords; my coach's son's name. The "project" comes from our gym's nickname which is "The Garage Project." This is to honor his memory and help others.
Currently, this project is self-funded but, if anyone is feeling particularly generous and wants to help, I have a TPS Project Wishlist of things I would like/need to put in the care packages.
The goal is to help at least one athlete from around the country a month.
I have also updated my RIO 2016 Wishlist if you are interested in helping specifically me.
Thanks for reading! Have an awesome day!