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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 trains Kovsies to become great in world terms – Prof Jonathan Jansen
2016-01-19

Description: First-year welcoming 2016 Tags: First-years, UFS First-years

First-year students from the University of the Free State (UFS) recently attended the welcoming ceremony at the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux

The University of the Free State (UFS) does not train Kovsies to become great in Bloemfontein or even South Africa. The UFS trains them to become great in the world.

With these words, Prof Jonathan Jansen welcomed the first-year class of 2016 to the “home of Wayde van Niekerk, Rolene Strauss, and the 2015 Varsity Cup rugby champions”.

Prof Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, welcomed the newcomers to the start of the “best time of their lives” on 15 January 2016 at the Red Square of the Bloemfontein Campus. First-years and their parents attended the annual welcoming ceremony.

Prof Jansen congratulated the students on choosing the UFS, and on being part of the elite group that was selected to study at the university.

The UFS received 25 142 applications from newcomers, he said, although there are only about 8 000 places. In 2015, there were roughly 17 500 applications.

He said it was also the most diverse group of applications the UFS had ever received.

Access to education

According to Prof Jansen, the UFS is committed to helping poor students gain access to education, no matter what their background or the colour of their skin.

Lindokuhle Ntuli, the UFS Student Representative Council (SRC) President, said higher education should be more accessible. He said South Africa has allowed education to become commercialised.

“The sooner we as a country realise education isn’t an expense, but rather an investment, the better,” he said.

UFS campaigns

Prof Jansen thanked the UFS SRC for the Right to Learn (R2L) campaign. Launched by the SRC on 30 October 2015, this campaign has already raised R1.2 million to help academically-deserving underprivileged students to study.

“I have launched a campaign myself to raise R100 million between now and September. About 50% of my time will go into this,” Prof Jansen said.

“I will work tirelessly with Lindokuhle and the SRC to raise money.”

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