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29 January 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Anja Aucamp
Prof Francis Petersen speech
“We can create an institution that operates and lives in the times of embracing and celebrating diversity, inclusivity, and academic excellence by ensuring that students own their time at university,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

25 January 2019 marked the official welcoming of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) first-year students, as they moved into their respective residences and were warmly welcomed on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. This day also marked the start of the registration process for first-year students.

According to first-year Psychology student Keisha Claasen, who moved into her residence earlier on 25 January, her first experience of the UFS was daunting but exciting, as she had never been in a similar environment. According to Given Gwerera, who dropped his son off at the Karee residence earlier the day, “the UFS is an institution with great culture and an overall good academic record.” He further explained that he trusts his son to make full use of the opportunities presented to him, as he has a cool head on his shoulders.

On the evening of 25 January, an eager group of millennials, joined by their parents, took the first sip from their cup of varsity life as they assembled on the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus to meet the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, members of Rectorate, the deans of all faculties, and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the UFS.

“2019 will be a year of continued change; the UFS is thrilled about the prospect of bringing about opportunities for adaptation and realignment to the future,” said Prof Francis Petersen.

He further explained that the university prides itself in moulding its students into well-rounded individuals who will develop into globally competitive graduates as required in a diversity of landscapes. Prof Petersen urged first-years to remain open to the technological developments that go with globalisation, because of its permanent effects on society today.

First-years were further advised to take advantage of the rich pool of academic research and knowledge that is characteristic of the university and is piloted by UFS scholars, by engaging with and learning from them.

The inspiring night concluded on a colourful note, as the audience enjoyed an artistic laser show in front of the Main Building. Caption:

“UFS academics conduct research that forces the world to take note,” said Prof Francis Petersen at the official first-year welcoming ceremony on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Kesa and Wayde biggest stars at KovsieSport Awards
2017-10-03

Description: 'Awards KovsieSport 2017 Tags: Awards KovsieSport 2017

Wayde van Niekerk was unable to attend the KovsieSport Awards.
Steven Swarts, his stepfather, received the award for KovsieSport
Senior Sportsman of the Year from Prof Francis Petersen (left),
Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State,
on his behalf.
Photo: Mlungisi Louw/Volksblad


It took Kesa Molotsane seven years of hard work and patience to excel, and all this time she has been a Kovsie. Unlike some other sporting greats, success didn’t come overnight for her. 

The star athlete had an amazing year and was crowned KovsieSport Senior Sportswoman of the Year, while Wayde van Niekerk is the KovsieSport Senior Sportsman of the Year for a fifth consecutive time. The 400 m Olympic Champion surpassed the record held by himself and Franz Kruger for most successive sports awards for men (four), and equalled Kruger’s record (five) for the most men’s titles overall.

Blose and Chawane top juniors

The cream of the crop was honoured at the KovsieSport Awards, held in collaboration with the Volksblad Free State Sport Stars Awards, at Monte Bello in Bloemfontein on 27 September 2017.

Kwenzo Blose, who represented the South African U20 rugby team at the Junior World Cup, was named Junior Sportsman for a second consecutive year. The netball player Khanyisa Chawane is the KovsieSport Junior Sportswoman of the Year. She captained the South African U21 netball team at the World Youth Netball Champs.

The blind athlete Louzanne Coetzee and her guide Khothatso Mokone received a Special Award for Disabled Sport. Coetzee took part in the Paralympic Games and has set many records, such as in the 5 000 m (T11).

Hard work over many years

Molotsane competed at the World Cross-country Championships in Kampala, is the leader of the Spar Women’s Grand Prix 10 km series, and represented South Africa at the World Student Games. The Assistant Officer at KovsieSport says being the best female athlete is humbling. 

“It took me long enough to get here and it needed a lot of work from my side over many years. I have been with Kovsies for, like, seven years and I am only getting this after so long.”
She also commended Karla and Tanya Mostert who was nominated with her. “Karla has been a motivation for little kids from primary school up until high school learners. She has always been there and knows what it means to really be a sport star. 

“And her younger sister Tanya is the upcoming one. It is amazing to be on stage with both of them.”

KovsieSport Awards:
Participants in World Student Games in Tapei: Arné Nel (tennis), Hendrik Maartens (athletics), Janke van der Vyver (badminton), Kesa Molotsane (athletics), Lienke de Kock (tennis), Maryke Brits (athletics), Rynardt van Rensburg (athletics), Tsepang Sello (athletics).
Special Award for Disabled Sport: Louzanne Coetzee and Khothatso Mokone
Special Awards: Maryka Holtzhausen (netball), Janine de Kock, Marnus Kleinhans (tennis), Ans Botha, Rufus Botha (both athletics), Nicole Walraven (hockey) and Godfrey Tenoff (soccer)
Junior Sportswoman of the Year: Khanyisa Chawane (netball)
Junior Sportsman of the Year: Kwenzo Blose (rugby)
Senior Sportswoman of the Year: Kesa Molotsane (athletics)
Senior Sportsman of the Year: Wayde van Niekerk (athletics)

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