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Plenty of people were showcasing their athletic abilities at the University of Manitoba's track and field stadium today.

The sixth annual Turning Leaf Games was on, an event in which adults with mental illness or mental or physical disabilities participate in Olympics-style events and other skill-based activities.

TJ was a competitor last year, but this time he decided to take it in from the sidelines.

"Here spectating, watching the games, (I) hope everybody does good, and it should be a fun day for all," he said as the athletic events were getting underway.

Last year, TJ participated in long jump, shot put, and the 100 and 400 metre dashes.


"You work up a really good sweat the whole day," said TJ.

Barkley Engel, founder and CEO of Turning Leaf, said one of their competitors is 74 years old, and he's "relentless."

Engel said, even though this is the sixth Turning Leaf Games, they actually started nine years ago as an in-house event at Turning Leaf, created by front-line workers.

"It's not a strenuous event, where there's going to be a great deal of training required. It is more of a fun day, a track and field sort of day, where people can come out, eat some barbeque, meet some friends, and have a good time," said Engel.

On its website, Turning Leaf describes itself as "a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing crisis and treatment services to those experiencing intellectual challenge and mental illness."

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