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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

Junior researcher makes Kovsies proud

Herkulaas Combrink received the Junior Researcher Award at the 3rd Annual Health Research Day held on 30 and 31 October 2014. On this day, clinicians and scientists shared information on research that will impact health in the Free State.

Combrink is a student in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Department of Human Genetics, as well as Medical Science intern with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). His research project: ‘Familial Breast Cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 within the Indian population of South Africa’ forms part of an umbrella study which looks at the various populations of South Africa for familial breast cancer mutations within BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, so that diagnostic panels can be created. This is the first study of its kind to be done on this population group in South Africa.

He says: “I am passionate about my research and the impact of my work. I am hard-working and believe in the value of my contribution to science. My philosophy is that theory must always be put into practice. I apply this philosophy to everything I pursue.”

The research week was held by the School of Medicine in conjunction with the Free State Department of Health.

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