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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

Regional winner designing her way to Architectural Student of the Year Award
2016-03-09

Description: Corobrik award Tags: Corobrik award

Musa Shangase, Corobrik Commercial and Marketing Director, and Nilene van Niekerk.

For 29 years, Corobrik has been celebrating the most outstanding architectural talent in South Africa. This year, Nilene van Niekerk – a master’s graduate of the University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Architecture – features as one of the regional winners.

Deciding on a dissertation topic, Nilene contemplated how she could use architecture as a tool to address a non-architectural contemporary problem specific to post-apartheid democratic South Africa. Her answer was born from her passion for freedom of speech. “Freedom of speech and the intimidation of journalists by the controversial Secrecy Bill were at the forefront these past few years,” Nilene says. “Although freedom of expression are generally protected practices in South Africa’s constitution, the persistent role of the government to protect state information is a substantial threat to citizens’ constitutional right of freedom of expression.”

This resulted in Nilene’s dissertation topic, Freedom of Expression Forum. This architectural concept envision a building, in the vicinity of Constitutional Hill, that symbolises protest against the Secrecy Bill. The building will provide “protection to journalists and become a pivotal point where classified information can be sent and archived. It will also establish a public space that encourages communication – all in the name of fostering the right of freedom of expression within this human rights precinct,” Nilene says.

Nilene will now go on to compete for the national title at the Corobrik Student Architect of the Year Awards in Johannesburg in May 2016.

“The project also rethinks the idea of sustainability as it focuses on how to contribute to a sustainable political future in South Africa. I believe that we as architects, especially in a third world country, should think beyond the normative boundaries of sustainability,” Nilene says.

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