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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

Medical students enrich lives through community service project
2016-03-18

Description: 2016 03 18 Outreach  Tags: 2016 03 18 Outreach

A group of third-year medical students organised a fun day for Ons Kinderhuis as part of their community service project.

As part of their curriculum, third-year MBChB students are required to complete a community service project in collaboration with a specific NGO in Bloemfontein. Not only do these projects serve an academic requirement, but also echo the spirit of service and compassion emblematic of the Human Project of the University of the Free State (UFS).

 

One group of students chose to pour their time and care into Ons Kinderhuis–home to 100 children with special needs. Since their involvement, these medical students have helped improve the home’s facilities and also hosted various fun days for the staff and children.

 

The latest fun day was celebrated on Saturday 12 March 2016. The festivities were kicked off in the morning by a game of soccer using the brand-new goal posts recently built by the medical students. It was difficult to decide who were more excited – the children or the staff – when some of the Cheetah rugby players joined the event. A slippery slide came in handy to wash off sticky hands and mouths and for little bodies with lots of energy the jumping castle was a perfect answer. Faces were painted and a banner created while music and the smell of the braai floated into the autumn air.

 

“I couldn't help but be proud of my team and thankful for this opportunity,” said Willem Potgieter, one of the student volunteers. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces made it all worthwhile. “It was truly a humbling and a great learning experience for each and every one of us,” Willem said.

 

This group of medical students consist of Burger Oosthuizen, Marié Engelbrecht, Lourens Badenhorst, Dirki Wessels, Roodt Ehlers, Shirley-Louise du Plessis, Mariet Geldenhuys, Louise-Mari Zietsman and Willem Potgieter.

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