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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

“I, too, am an African,” says visiting US drama professor
2013-03-06

 
Africans are of blood and of soil, says Prof Charles Dumas in his inaugural lecture at the UFS. Speaking on the topic I, too, am an African, Prof Dumas reminisced about his life and experiences on the continent.
Photo: Minette Grove
05 March 2013

Lecture (pdf)

What is an African? Is it those born in Africa, defined in racial and genealogical terms, or those who identifies with the continent in nationality and ancestral location? Did the descendants of enslaved Africans in the US, the Caribbean or Brazil lose their Africaness when their ancestors were put on slave ships to the New World?

These were some of the questions raised by Prof Charles Dumas, visiting senior professor in the Department Drama and Theatre Arts, in his inaugural lecture at the university.

Proclaiming attachment to the continent, Prof Dumas told his audience there are two types of Africans: Africans of the blood and Africans of the soil. In a speech titled, “I, too, am an African,” he stated that he lay claim to his ancestral birthright not because of blood relationship to an identifiable ethnic group or birthright to the continent, but because he earned it.

“I suggest another way that one can be an African, is through trial and struggle to be reborn an African in spirit. It is a ritual journey that may be taken by anyone. For, after all, if we are to believe the anthropologists who tell us that human life as we know it began in the Olduvai Gorge, genetically we are all African in origin.”

Prof Dumas, a senior professor at Penn State University in the USA, took the audience on a journey of his experiences on the continent, starting in 1978 when he first came to South Africa as a legal observer. Noticing the changes between Apartheid and today’s South Africa, he said this generation are committed to learn from each other – and that is the most important, he said.

“With their hopes and aspirations they earnestly desire to live in the new South Africa that we promised them. We must support them in their effort. It is time we stored our old baggage in the closet.”

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