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December 27, 2012 | Middle East North Africa: Algeria

Working and Laughing

By University of Miama volunteer

Coach Khaled ben Kacem of Lebanon with some of his Special Olympics Algeria athletes at the World Winter Games in Idaho in 2009.

Khaled ben Kacem spends almost all of his time with the Special Olympics athletes on the floor hockey team he coaches in Algeria. The teammates and their coach have become very close.

 "I give a lot, not only in training. I give my attention, I give my love, I give my time, I give my money, I give everything," he said.

He started his coaching career with "regular" kids, then found the rewards of working with athletes with intellectual disabilities. "What attracted me was, while we work, we laugh. It's fun working with them."

Beyond training and competitions, a goal of his training is to bring a new point of view to the parents of some athletes with intellectual disabilities. At first, some parents are ashamed of their children, he said.

Through Special Olympics and the training he provides, the parents begin to see "that they have a boy like any other."

Learn more about Khaled ben Kacem in the video below.

About University of Miama volunteer: Several students from the University of Miami volunteered as photographers and videographers at the 2009 World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho, USA.

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