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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 receives R3,284 million to research biosafety of genetically modified crops
2009-03-17

A testing facility at the University of the Free State (UFS), which is the only one of its kind in South Africa and a leader in its field in Africa, has received a grant of R3,284 million from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to do research on the biosafety of genetically modified crops in South Africa.

Prof. Chris Viljoen of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Testing Facility at the UFS says the grant forms part of a collaborative agreement between South Africa and Norway on the biosafety of GMOs.

The grant also makes provision for two M.Sc. bursaries as well as a regional biosafety workshop.

The research will focus on gene flow between genetically modified (GM) maize and non-GM maize and the potential impact thereof on the development of insect resistance.

Prof. Viljoen, who is head of Human Molecular Biology in the Department of Haematology and Cell Biology, says it is an honour to be selected to take part in the project and is groundbreaking in terms of GM maize on the environment. The project was initiated in 2009 and will run until the end of 2010.

The multi-institutional research include partners from the UFS, research groups from the University of North-West, the University of Fort Hare as well as SANBI and GenØk, the Norwegian centre for Gene Ecology. The GMO Testing Facility at the UFS was established in 2003 to perform routine GM detection for grain and food products in South Africa. The activities also include research into GM detection and biosafety of GM crops.

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
17 March 2009
 
 
Prof. Chris Viljoen of the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Testing Facility at the UFS.
Photo: Supplied

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