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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

School of Medicine White Coat ceremony embraces first-years into the fold
2016-03-17

Description: School of Medicine White Coat ceremony  Tags: School of Medicine White Coat ceremony

From the left are first-year UFS medical students Liandri Van Zyl, Lane Halberg, Wisani Baloyi, and Neve Steenbeek at the annual White Coat ceremony, wearing their white coats for the first time.

“Life isn’t about yourself. It’s about what you can pour into the lives of others.” The first-year medical students will not soon forget Dr Lynette van der Merwe’s words during their recent White Coat ceremony. Dr Van der Merwe is the Programme Director of the MBChB undergraduate program at the University of the Free State (UFS) School of Medicine.

The annual White Coat ceremony is a tradition at the school to welcome first-year students to the world of medicine. As an official initiation into this new world, students are allowed to put on their white coats for the first time. During the ceremony, representatives from the Medical Students Association contributed to the significance of the event by reading a declaration of intent regarding professional behaviour for all medical students.

Dr Wayne Marais, Head of the UFS Department of Ophthalmology, was the guest speaker, sharing his vivid memories of being the first black student to study Medicine at the UFS in 1987. Prof Marais encouraged students to embrace their failures and successes, and to ultimately stay true to themselves – both personally and professionally.

Second-year medical students were at hand to offer advice and support. In addition to offering encouragement, they also assured the newcomers that there is a life outside of their books as well.

The entire ceremony not only served to welcome the first-years into the fold, but also unite them in a common purpose towards helping others in future.

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