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05 June 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Louzanne Coetzee
Athlete Louzanne Coetzee with the trophy of the Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled as Sports Star of the Year.

Although challenging, very exciting and a new journey, says Louzanne Coetzee about the athletics year for which she has been recognised.

The 26-year-old, who is doing her master’s in Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Studies at the University of the Free State, won the Free State Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (FSSAPD) Sports Star of the Year award for a fourth consecutive time. This was for the period June 2018 to April 2019.

In that time, she set a world record, an Africa record, and ran two marathons in which she came amazingly close to a second world record.

Only in her second marathon at the Berlin Marathon in September, the Paralympian fell 26 seconds short of the T11 (totally blind) world record time. She met the qualifying time for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo during the London Marathon in April.

“Marathons are definitely challenging and a new field for me, but I would say it has been a good 12 months. My aim is now set on next year’s Paralympic Games, where I would like to compete in the marathon and the 1 500 m.”

“I hope to run a good time in the 1 500 m at the World Para Athletics Championships in November.”

At the SASAPD National Championships for physically disabled and visually impaired athletes in April 2019, Coetzee won three gold medals and set a record in the 1 500 m. 

Others from the UFS also honoured

Coetzee has received several awards in her career, but says it is always special to be rewarded by her own federation (FSSAPD). 

Danie Breitenbach (T11) was also honoured as the Senior Male Sports Star. He bagged two gold medals and one silver and set a SA record in both the 800 m and 1 500 m at the nationals. Another Kovsie, Dineo Mokhosoa (F36 – coordination impairments), received a merit award for her gold medal in shot-put and silver in the discus at the national champs.

News Archive

Staff member gets fellowship for HIV prevention advocacy
2008-08-01

Ms Estelle Heideman, HIV/Aids Co-ordinator at the Lengau Agriculture Development Centre of the University of the Free State (UFS), was awarded a fellowship under a leadership initiative in the United States of America (USA). It entails an eight-week training programme to help cultivate women leaders in South Africa who will make major contributions to HIV prevention advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. The programme is underwritten by the MAC AIDS Fund and managed by the HIV Centre for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University in New York City and the UCLA Program in Global Health at the University of California in Los Angeles. Fellows will participate in an orientation overview, attend regular scheduled prevention seminars and policy meetings, and hold meetings with mentors. At the conclusion of the programme, the leadership initiative will, amongst other benefits, provide funds for fellows to carry out their prevention programme in South Africa. Ms Heideman, in collaboration with the university’s Chief Directorate Community Service and Free State Rural Development Programme, has been working on a number of farms in the southern Free State since 2006. The prevention plan that captured the interest of the US panel of judges is an eight-week programme among farm workers in the Philippolis district with the aim to equip them to take control of their lives by knowing their HIV status and living a healthy lifestyle.
Photo: Supplied
 

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