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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

Sarah Shannon is ready to take on the world
2011-08-10

 

Sarah Shannon
Photo: Lize-Marie Smit

An intimate send-off party was recently held in Sarah Shannon’s honour by her support group. She is a student from our university and she is heading to present South Africa at the 2011 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Alberta, Canada from 10-14 August. Here she will be competing in the 50 m and 100 m free-style, and the 50 m and 100 m backstroke, respectively.

Sarah, a silver-medal winner at the Para-Olympic World Championships in Brazil 2009, has set high goals for herself. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology, has completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Education modules, and she is a motivational speaker to boot. She is also scheduled to start her PGCE practical teaching at the Tswellang Special School in Bloemfontein at the beginning of September 2011. “I love helping people and making a difference, and I would like to work with children with special needs,” Sarah says.

Ms Arina Otto, Manager at our Sports Medicine Clinic says: “We believe in you, Sarah, but mostly we support you all the way.” Sarah is also supported by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and is currently on their OPEX (Operation Excellence) Programme. OPEX sponsored her by ensuring she gets all the medical and scientific support as an athlete.

Sarah swims two hours a day and exercises for an hour on a daily basis.

“We are hoping she does well in Canada so she can be selected for the 2012 Para-Olympic Games,” says Ms Tanya Martin, Assistant Coach: SuperSport Seals Swimming Club. 
 

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