The Empire Throwing Club was founded in 2022 as a training group, dedicated to creating opportunities for new throwers to break into the highland games. Our first event was the training day, which brought 12 beginner throwers onto the field. Weekly open practices created more chances for people to try the games and improve their skills. 

The club quickly connected with local organizations holding Scottish festivals and heritage events. In our first year we hosted throwing exhibitions and crowd participation events at the 2nd annual Thistle Day celebration in Argyle, NY, as well as the first ever Broadalbin Gathering & Games in Broadalbin, NY. We provided support for other local events such as the CNY Irish Fest in Deansboro, NY, the highland games at the Dutchess County Fair, and our biggest local event, the Capital District Scottish Festival. We even co-hosted a brand new competition just across the border in Stockbridge, MA, the Old MacDonald's Farm game.

Mac Dillman

Founder - Director

"I saw the games at a festival as a teenager. I didn't think about throwing until years later. I found the rules online, cobbled together my own gear to train with, and practiced on my own for months. I never had training partners and didn't really know what I was doing. I met great folks at competitions who taught me a lot, but there still weren't many local throwers or competitions.

There are excellent training groups in the Buffalo area and New England, but first timers aren't likely to drive 3+ hours to try out something new. The gear is expensive, and beginners aren't likely to make that investment until they know that they like the sport.

I created the club to help new throwers get started, and create a local highland games community. I wanted to make more local opportunities to train and compete, and provide resources for throwers in the Albany area, from beginners to experts."

Who we are

Anyone can be a club member. Some people come out for open practices now and then to train, other people register for events to compete or participate, and some members volunteer to help out and keep events running smoothly. Anyone can use the club facebook page to hold a practice and invite others. Official club events are organized through the board of directors.

Ryan VanDerVoort

Club Officer

Noelle Michaud

Club Officer

Henry Fleischut

Club Officer