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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

Miss South Africa is a Kovsie
2014-03-31


Rolene Strauss
Images:
www.facebook.com/#!/MsSouthAfrica

“Rolene Strauss is an example of physical beauty, academic excellence and public duty coming together in one person,” said Prof Jansen.

Twenty-one-year-old Rolene Strauss, a third-year medical student at the University of the Free State (UFS), was crowned as Miss South Africa at a gala event at Sun City the weekend. Rolene was also the favourite on Twitter.

In her acceptance speech, Rolene said that she dearly loves South Africa. “This is where I can live, speak, learn and love freely. This is where my dreams come true. I am very proud of our country and shall always have a purpose here. It is such a privilege to represent our wonderful country. Our future is bright and I can’t wait to represent South Africa nationally and internationally,” Rolene said.

“My passion for health will definitely form a big part of my year, together with the initiatives of the sponsors,” she said.

Rolene said that Prof Jonathan Jansen, the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, is an inspiration to her. “He stands up for what he believes in and enjoys what he is doing. He wants the best for his students and supports them in everything they do,” she said.

“Thanks to the support of the UFS and Prof Jansen, I am able to stop my studies for a year and continue after my Miss South Africa year. I am who I am today because of the people around me – and that definitely includes Kovsies. I see the university as a garden in which I can flower,” she said.

The university community is very proud of Rolene, and it is confirmed by Prof Jansen. “I am extremely proud of Rolene Strauss, for she has proved that physical beauty, academic excellence and public duty can come together in one person, and offer a powerful platform for transforming communities in need that would otherwise remain invisible, were it not for such a wonderful young role model,” he said.

On the year which lies ahead, Rolene said: “It will be a year during which I shall give back, say thank you and be a good example of the potential that especially women and South Africans may have in our country.”

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