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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

New conductor of OSM Camerata is one of South Africa’s most successful young people
2014-03-27

 
Mr Xavier Cloete

The OSM Camerata at the University of the Free State boasts with a young renowned conductor to lead them in the next season.

Mr Xavier Cloete, winner of the 2013 National Len van Zyl Conductor’s Competition, will conduct the Camerata during the Odeion School of Music’s opening concert.

He completed his BMus degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 2011 with bassoon and orchestral conducting as main instruments and is currently employed by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO).

As winner of the Len van Zyl Competition, he completed a conducting internship with the famous Philadelphia Orchestra, which gave him the opportunity to work with acclaimed conductors. He also studied at the Bienen School of Music (Northwestern University) in the Advanced Graduate Conducting Class of Prof Victor Yampolski.

Last year Xavier was also invited to attend the first Sasha Mäkilä International Master Classes in Finland.

His love and passion for music started early in his life – and somewhat coincidentally - in church.

“I was learning to play a few hymns on my dad’s Hammond organ at home. One Sunday our church organist didn’t turn up and I nonchalantly moved in behind the organ. It went very well.”

Xavier ascribes his success to lots of hard work and his love for music.
“My passion for music drives me to work hard. Hard work shows that you are dedicated and this is again seen in the successes you achieve. The reward of one’s hard work is the best instrument.”

He will be making his international debut with the St Michel’s City Orchestra (Finland) during April 2014.


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