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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

Department of Oncology provides hyperbaric chamber to cancer patients – a first in the Free State
2016-03-21

Description: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy  Tags: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

From the left: De Villiers Brink, Gys Botes (both of the Par3 Golfday group that donated towards the hyperbaric chamber), Dr Alicia Sheriff (Head of the UFS Department of Oncology) and Prof Gert van Zyl (Dean of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences).

Thanks to the Department of Oncology at the University of the Free State (UFS), cancer patients now have access to a hyperbaric chamber – a medical treatment that enhances the body’s healing process through the inhalation of oxygen.

In order to realise this tremendous addition to the treatment of cancer patients, the Department of Oncology established collaboration between the UFS School of Medicine, the Free State Department of Health, and a group of private donors. Currently the only one in the Free State, the hyperbaric chamber has been installed at the Oncology ward at National Hospital in Bloemfontein and will benefit not only patients from the Free State, but also the North West province and the Northern Cape.

While lying down in the chamber, the patient’s body absorbs more oxygen as a result of the high levels of air pressure. This process stimulates the healing of cancer wounds and various other injuries, including sports injuries.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology (UFS), says her team is passionate about enhancing the quality of their patients’ lives, even when facing difficult circumstances. “I believe that the hyperbaric chamber is just one way of achieving this, since it helps decrease the harm done by certain medical conditions on the human body,” Dr Sherriff says.

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