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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

‘Language central to multidisciplinary society’
2012-03-22

 

Dr. Neville Alexander (right) discussed the role of language and culture in creating tolerance in South Africa. On the left is Prof. André Keet, Director of the UFS' International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconcilliation and Social Justice.
Photo: Johan Roux
22 March 2012

A multilingual state and culture could lead to more tolerance in South Africa, and schools and universities could play a leading role in the creation of a multilingual culture.

This is according to Dr Neville Alexander, one of South Africa’s foremost linguists and educationalists.

Dr Alexander spoke during a discussion session on language issues in a new South Africa at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice.

He said in a multidisciplinary society, language is central to everything we do. 

“Language has the ability to empower people or to disempower them. Yet the present government failed to value the other official South African languages, apart from Afrikaans and English.”

Dr Alexander said it is “convenient and cheap” for the government “to only govern in English”.

Government officials and academics often used the shortage of terminology and glossaries in various African languages as an excuse to use only English as the medium of instruction. This tendency puts young children in the South African school system at a disadvantage since it deprives them of their right to mother tongue education.

According to Dr Alexander, this is similar to the problems that academics experienced centuries ago when only Latin terminology existed for certain disciplines.

“It is the task of educationalists and experts to develop the necessary word lists and terminology to offer more economic value to all our official languages.”

If multilingualism was promoted at school level, a multilingual culture would become more acceptable in future. In this way, we could have an isiZulu of isiXhosa dominant university in South Africa in 30 years time.
 

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