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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

Louzanne smashes world record despite strong wind
2017-04-13

Description: Louzanne smashes world record  Tags: Louzanne smashes world record

Louzanne Coetzee and her guide
Khothatso Mokone.
Photo: Johan Roux

Despite the terribly windy conditions at this year’s Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled, Louzanne Coetzee managed to improve her world record in the 5 000 m race.

Record improved by almost 40 seconds
Last year, Coetzee, who works at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State (UFS), was the first blind athlete to complete the 5 000 m race in less than 20 minutes.

Her own record in the 5 000 m race (T11 category) was 19:17.06 and with the help of her guide, Khothatso Mokone, she improved it by almost 40 seconds. The new national record now stands at 18:37.23.

Coetzee says the evening before the race the winds were terrible, and she started to wonder what would happen during her race. “Even though the wind was a bit tough, overall it was a good race,” she says.

Overjoyed by exceptional time

She says that when she heard her time was a new record, she was completely overjoyed and could not believe it. “I was aiming to run just under 19 seconds but when I heard that my time was not only a personal best but also a new world record, I was over the moon.”

The Championships took place from 31 March to 4 April in Port Elizabeth. Coetzee and Mokone will be in action in a Grand Prix in Switzerland next month.

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