It was a clinic and it was a competition - but most of all, it was a great learning experience for a few dozen athletes.
The Kamloops Track and Field Club played host to the ThrowsFest Clinic at the Hillside Stadium throws area on Saturday and Sunday. ThrowsFest featured instruction in all four Olympic throwing events - shot put, hammer, discus and javelin - followed by an official competition.
"It's the end of the season and we just thought we'd do a little clinic," said KTFC president Judy Armstrong. "We had athletes come down from Prince George and the Lower Mainland and Kelowna. They all seemed to like it."
Armstrong said there were between six and eight athletes in each discipline. The students were getting instruction mainly from Anatoliy Bondarchuk, the head coach of Kamloops' National Throws Centre, and Justin Rodhe, who competed for Canada in shot put at the London Olympics in August.
Also helping out were elite hammer throwers Kibwé Johnson, Megann Rodhe and Crystal Smith. That's a pretty impressive lineup from which the students were learning.
"This has to be a great experience for all of these (students)," said Adam Keenan, an NTC hammer thrower who set the Canadian junior record (74.11 metres) in Saturday's competition.
"(Bondarchuk) is a legend, so for them to get to work with him is a great opportunity."
The athletes who took part represented a broad cross-section of the track and field age spectrum. The majority of them were younger, but there were a few older folks on hand trying learn some new tricks.
"We tried to focus on the 13-and-up group, because our real focus was the high school kids," Armstrong said. "We did have a few masters as well, which is great because Kamloops is hosting the (2013) B.C. Senior Games (from Aug. 20-24)."
Keenan said that throws clinics are somewhat rare around Canada. Usually, he said, NCAA programs put on such events in the U.S.
With that in mind, Armstrong is hoping that the KTFC is able to make the ThrowsFest Clinic an annual event.
"We'd like to do it at this time of year - the weather was perfect," she said.
"It gives people a chance to work on some of the tips they were given over the winter and hopefully have some better results once spring comes around."