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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Juan Odendaal on his way to World Champs
2015-03-23

Juan Odendaal
Photo: BOOGS Photography, Andrew McFadden

UFS’s athletes with disabilities are currently excelling in cycling and athletics.

The UFS Para-cyclist, Juan Odendaal, will soon make his debut for South Africa at the 2015 Union Cyclist International (UCI) Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, from 26-29 March 2015.

The Championship event will provide an excellent foundation for re-building the international competitiveness of South Africa’s Para-cycling track team in the build-up to Rio 2016. In a situation where the UCI has hosted relatively few international track competitions over the past three years, the 2015 World Championships will serve as a stepping-stone to the 2016 grand season, when it is expected that the country’s top riders will reach their peak competitive condition.

As the youngest member of the South African team, Odendaal will use the opportunity of competing in the individual time trial and team sprint events to build a platform for an international career will certainly span many years to come.

Another UFS student, Musa Simelane, are excelling and was chosen for the SA Wheelchair Rugby tean, known as the "Wheelboks". They will compete in the 2015 World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge in London in October and after that head to Japan to compete in the 2015 Asia Oceania Championships.

On a local level, earlier in March this year, other UFS athletes with disabilities also performed well on the athletics track.

Blind athlete and member of the Bloemfontein Campus Student Representative Council (SRC), Louzanne Coetzee, also had a good 1500m race in the beginning of March when she qualified easily for the World Championships, which will take place in Toronto, Canada, later this year. Coetzee and her guide, Rouxné Jacobs, set up a time of 5:45.86, which is well under the required standard of 6 minutes.

The other blind UFS athlete, Danie Breitenbach, alongside his guide Marius Wessels, broke his own national record for the 800m again on Friday 6 March 2015. In November 2014, Breitenbach’s record stood at 2:15.17. This record now stands at 2:13.57. Chances now are that Breitenbach will reach his goal of running the 800m under 2:10 at the Nedbank National Championship for the Physically Disabled at the end of March 2015.

The other Kovsie stars who will be participating at the Nedbank National Championship for the Physically Disabled are as follows:

Athletes:
• Dineo Mokhosoa
• Louzanne Coetzee
• Danie Breitenbach
• Juanré Jenkinson
• Diederich Kleynhans
• Jacques de Bruyn

Swimmer:
• Johann van Heerden

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