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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

SA women’s Hockey players give a recount of Hockey World League
2015-07-02

Nicole Walraven and Liné Malan
Photo: Hatsu Mphatsoe

Three of the star players of Kovsies Hockey formed part of the South African Women’s Hockey team, which competed at the Hockey World League (HWL) tournament in Spain.

Hatsu Mphatsoe, student assistant at the Department of Communication and Brand Management, spoke to Nicole Walraven and Liné Malan. Tanya Britz will be returning only at a later stage to South Africa.

As key players in the Kovsies women’s team, Malan and Walraven (along with Britz) have a new wealth of knowledge that could assist the team in their forthcoming USSA tournament. Here are some of the sentiments they had to share:

What was your reaction when you first received the news that you’d be representing the country in Spain?

Liné: “It was a shock to me, I honestly didn’t expect it. At the same time, I was extremely excited to be granted the opportunity to represent my country, and prove my worth to the team.”

Nicole: “I was so excited and felt honoured! To represent my country at such a big tournament is amazing. I was very nervous, but excited.”

How has playing at an international level improved your personal performance and mentality of the game/sport?

Nicole: “Playing at such a high level has helped my hockey immensely. It has helped me read the game better, it has upped my self-confidence, and it has also improved my ability to deal with pressure.”

Liné: “Playing at an international level looks much easier than it is. It is a much faster game, the pressure on the ball is much higher, and the individual skills are on a different level. It has helped me to lift my game, and make decisions much quicker. It has honestly benefitted me as an individual, and I’ve learnt so much from the experience.”

Now that you’ll be going to play at the USSA tournament, what new perspectives do you wish to bring to the team in order to improve its overall performance there?

Nicole: “The importance of teamwork as well as adapting the game plan according to the situation and the opposition. Constant hard work and a never-give-up attitude are vital. One quote that stood out from the tournament is ‘1MT, 1MT’ which stands for ‘1 More Thing, 1 More Time’.

Liné: “Going to USSA, I now have a better understanding of what pressure is, and how to make better decisions. We will still make use of our Kovsies brand of Hockey, which is our passing game, and apply all aspects to the best of our ability.”

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