Bahamian Cache Armbrister has over a decade of elite running under her belt, and is now ready to give back to the sport that has given her a college education and taken her around the world.
Having spent the last two years here at home in The Bahamas because of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Armbrister feels like she is in a position to assist in the development of young athletes and create avenues for them to excel in athletics and other sporting disciplines. She launched her new venture, Athletic Training Program (ATP), yesterday.
By no means is Armbrister retiring from competitive track and field, but at 31, she feels the time is now to put things in place to transition to other aspects of track and field. She was one of The Bahamas’ most versatile female athletes over the past 10-15 years, representing the country as high as the world relays and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now World Athletics (WA), World Championships.
“I ran from this for a while because I didn’t want to go back to training in the US in the middle of the program and feel like I left the athletes high and dry. My sister told me that I could put the foundation in place and just start the program, so I’m running with that,” said Armbrister. “I feel like the developmental stage in The Bahamas is in a bad state and that’s the area that needs the most focus. The kids are being left behind. There comes a time in the sport when there is a gap and no one is putting in the work to fill the gap. The young athletes need a program that will focus on just them and get them to the next level, thereby putting them in a position where they could experience longevity in the sport. I want to put a program in place that gets them prepared for each level. It’s high performance and designed to get the athlete to the level that he or she wants to get to.”
Armbrister said there are aspects of the program in place to facilitate all ages – from youth up to masters – but for now, the main focus will be on the developmental stage and keeping young athletes interested in athletics and other sporting disciplines. For now, she’s mainly targeting athletes from ages 10-18.
“It’s youth centric, but I’m not only focussed on that – programs are in place to cater to whatever age bracket I get. Also, it’s not just for track athletes – this is available for all sports. There are swimmers who need to do land training, and baseball players and soccer players who need speed work. There is something in this for every athlete,” she said. “I’m very excited. COVID put me in a different mindset. People would always come up to me and ask me if I ran track and do I coach and have a club.
“I’m really looking forward to this next step of my athletic journey. I’m just really excited to help and lend my experience in athletics and high-performance training. I want to be in a position to help kids individually and at each level. I have experience in every aspect of track and field and I’m ready to share that knowledge, thereby taking athletes from conception to maturity.”
Armbrister, who has already branched off from athletics into entrepreneur status, said she is looking to stage a summer camp this year, jumpstarting the program. She and her sister Ronnell Armbrister are the proprietors of Da Bag Restaurant at Potters Cay Dock.
“I’ve had a lot of down time because of COVID – it’s given me an opportunity to be an entrepreneur,” said Armbrister. “I’ve been an athlete all my life – training and competing. Now, I get to venture off into a different aspect of my life. It’s been fun, but now I get to train at my leisure and not be on a strict schedule. The door is always open. I haven’t officially retired from track and field but I’m rolling with the punches. It’s always been heavy on my heart to give back. I feel like when you have a certain amount of exposure and a certain amount of experience, you have to give back to the community. You have to help to develop someone – if only one person. I want to be in a position to help someone achieve what I did or more.”
Armbrister said her program will include water drills in addition to land training and will focus on the development of the whole athlete. It will run daily, taking a break on the weekends for rest and recovery. Each athlete will receive a journal to set and track goals, progress, assessments and evaluations; a portable blender for convenient nutrition of healthy foods and to emphasize healthy eating habits and a bottle to encourage hydration.
“As a studying sports psychologist, the chief aim of my program is to implement a holistic program that’ll help each athlete achieve a fulfilling career and a powerful life, the life after athletics,” she said. “My commitment is developing the individual by incorporating physical, psychological, spiritual and nutritional training for optimal results.
“I just want to thank my sister Ronnell who was behind me from day one to get this club started and my best friend Krishanda Oliver who has also been behind me to get this off the ground. I want to thank them both for being very supportive as well as my parents. They know where my heart is and they want me to expand on that desire and passion. I love giving back and I’m just so interested in helping the kids. That is something that drives me.”
The sponsors for the launch of the program are Global Sun Integration Management, Da Bag Restaurant and its healthy alternative Salada.