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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 praised for hosting international research development programme
2013-03-05

 

At the farewell function were, from the left: Dr GansenPillay (deputy executive officer of the NRF), Emile Goofo (Cameroon), his son Tylio in the arms of Prof Nicky Morgan (Vice-Rector: Operations), Avelino Mondhane from Stockholm University (originally from Mozambique) and Prof Neil Heideman (Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences).
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar
05 March 2013

“I must congratulate the University of the Free State on doing something like this,” Dr Gansen Pillay said at the farewell function for the participants in the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) at the UFS.

The 19 young scientists from 16 countries completed their three-month programme at the end of February 2013. As another step in the process the participants must write articles for reputable journals and complete their doctoral studies. Their performance in the research world will also be tracked.

Dr Pillay, deputy executive officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), said an investment was made in the researchers to secure the future of the programme. A lot of persuasion and proof was necessary to convince the Austrian Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) that a programme of this nature could be presented in Africa.

The SA-YSSP was hosted and managed by the UFS. The programme was developed by the NRF in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IIASA into a novel and innovative initiative.  The official launch was by the Minister of Science and Technology during November 2011.

The SA-YSSP will be an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity-building programme. Aligned with the YSSP model, annually presented in Austria, the SA-YSSP offered scientific seminars covering themes in the social and natural sciences, often with policy dimensions, to broaden the participants’ perspectives and strengthen their analytical and modelling skills, further enriching a demanding academic and research programme.

Prof Martin Mtwaeaborwa, SA-YSSP deputy dean, said the academic performance of the young scientists superseded the expectations. “I hope the scholars will look back at the programme as the moment their careers began.”

The added, “The UFS received positive remarks for organising the programme and we hope to get it again in future.”

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