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The Games touched our lives forever

ANITA BERGIN had to give up her basketball career through injury – but her next move became a life-changing event.

Anita took over as a coach for Special Olympics and her men's basketball team took silver for Ireland at the World Games 2003.

"I know there is nothing that will ever happen in my life again that those two weeks brought" she says of the Games.

"Working with Special Olympics changes the lives of the athletes, the coaches and the volunteers."

Anita is a volunteer coach with the Blackrock Flyers Special Olympics Club for the past 18 years. She began in the run-up to the 2003 Games. She describes her work with special athletes as "kind of addictive". She added: "When you see them walk into a tournament with their heads held high. It's extremely rewarding."