15 September 2021 | Story Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Charl Devenish
The University of the Free State celebrated the achievements of the Paralympic athlete, Louzanne Coetzee. She won silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

It is great to be back with her University of the Free State (UFS) family, and Louzanne Coetzee would not have been able to reach her dreams without her Kovsie support.

The Paralympic star thanked the UFS for the role it played in her career and said it was a privilege to represent the UFS and South Africa.

She returned from the Paralympic Games in Tokyo with silver (1 500 m; T11) and bronze (marathon; T12) medals and was welcomed back at a special UFS celebration on 13 September 2021.

The 28-year-old, her guides – Estean Badenhorst and Claus Kempen – and a small group of UFS dignitaries celebrated her achievements.

The Residence Head of Akasia Residence at the UFS not only brought home two medals, but also set a new 1 500 m African record (T11; 4:40.96) and a new world marathon record (T11; 3:11:13) in her class.

Support from home

Coetzee is a UFS alumna who started running while being a Kovsie student.

“Thank you so much for the welcome back,” she said.

“It is great to come back home to my UFS family. Especially after three weeks in another country.”

She said the support messages from the likes of Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, meant a lot while she was in Tokyo.

“I, Claus, and Estean would not have been able to do this without the support of the UFS and Oom DB (Prinsloo; Director of KovsieSport).”

Representing the UFS and the continent

She made special mention of Badenhorst and Kempen, who also run for the Kovsie Athletics Club. “I really feel we function well as a team, and I think the results have been fruitful.”

Prof Petersen praised and thanked them, also for representing the UFS, South Africa, and the continent in such a superb manner.

It is great to come back home to my UFS family. Especially after three weeks in another country. – Louzanne Coetzee


“You really made us proud as the University of the Free State family, and I know that you will continue with great performances in the future,” he said.

Prinsloo said KovsieSport is immensely proud of the trio and for being UFS ambassadors.

“Thank you very much. We are looking forward to the next couple of years.”

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