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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

UFS presents sport concussion programme for schools
2008-11-14

The Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) will present a sports concussion programme for schools in the Free State.

“The Pharos Schools Concussion Programme makes the latest methods and technology in concussion management available to learners who play contact sport,” says Dr Louis Holtzhausen, Programme Director of Sports Medicine at the UFS.

The great risk of concussion is that there is an uncertainty about when a player can return to a sport with safety and with the minimum complications in the brain. This programme fills that gap to a large extent.

“By using this programme, no player who suffers concussion will return to play before it is medically safe to do so. The programme also educates players, parents, coaches and the medical fraternity on how to manage sports concussion,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The programme has been designed for hockey, soccer, cricket, rugby and other contact and collision sports.

SA Rugby has used the programme for professional players for the last five years and advocates that all school rugby players should participate in the programme.

Several sports teams from schools in and around Bloemfontein as well as the University’s Shimla and Irawa rugby teams have already been tested. This will provide invaluable information in the management of possible head injuries.

“We can now give definite guidelines to players and coaches regarding the safe return of players to teams after such an injury. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the management of concussion and provides peace of mind to coaches, parents and players regarding serious injuries,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

By enrolling in the concussion programme, learners and their parents are ensured of among others:

A baseline computer brain-function test before the start of the season.
Information on how to recognise and treat concussion, including a fieldside information card for the player’s team.
A free consultation and neurological examination by a sports physician after any suspected concussion.
As many brain-function tests and sports-physician consultations as necessary after any concussion, until complete recovery.
Referral to a network of specialists if necessary.

The Pharos Programme uses a cognitive function evaluation called Cogsport. This is a neurophysiological test that measures brain function before the season starts. In this way, a baseline standard is established and, should concussion occur during the season, the extent of it can be measured according to the baseline and rehabilitation.

“Once we have the baseline values, the concussed player’s return to those levels must be monitored. He/she can return to light exercise in the meantime and semi- and full-contact can be introduced at appropriate times,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The cost of enrolment is R200 per learner, regardless of the number of concussions suffered or sports physician consultations received. “By enrolling in this programme, parents will ensure that their child has the best chance of avoiding the potentially serious consequences of concussion, including learning disabilities, recurrent concussions, epileptic fits and even death,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

More information on the programme can be obtained from Ms Arina Otto at 051 401 2530.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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