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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.

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Five Kovsies competing at National Championship for Physically Disabled
2016-03-18

Description: CUADS Tags: CUADS

Students from the University of the Free State (UFS) will compete at the Nedbank National Championship for the Physically Disabled in Bloemfontein from 21–23 March 2016. From back left is Johann van Heerden, Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, and Danie Breitenbach. Front from left is Louzanne Coetzee and Dineo Mokhosoa.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

Five students from the University of the Free State (UFS) will be taking part in the Nedbank National Championship for the Physically Disabled from 21–23 March 2016 in Bloemfontein. Dineo Mokhosoa, Juanré Jenkinson, Louzanne Coetzee, Danie Breitenbach and Johann van Heerden will represent the Free State at this event – one of the last opportunities to qualify for the Paralympic Games.

According to Martie Miranda, Head of the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) at the UFS, these students have shown they can achieve anything. “The Center for Universal Access and Disability Support is extremely proud of our students with disabilities who excel in sport and wish our students the best of luck with the national championships,” she said.“They confirm that ‘impossible’ is just a word.”

Most of the students already have excellent national and international rankings in their respective categories.

Mokhosoa (Cerebral Palsy), is ranked first in South Africa in discus, shot-put and long jump. This Social Work student also has two South African records in shot-put and long jump respectively behind her name. Jenkinson (Cerebral Palsy) is ranked eighth in the world in shot-put.

Coetzee (blind), who competes in the 800 m, 1 500 m and 5 000 m, is fifth in the world in the 800 m and ninth in the 1500 m. Breitenbach (blind) runs 400 m, 800 m and 1 500 m. Breitenbach, a Law student, is ranked fifth in the world in the 800 m.

Van Heerden (Cerebral Palsy) competes in swimming in the 50 m, 100 m and 200 m breaststroke. The Education student is ranked third in the 50 m, seventh in the 100 m and third in the 200 m in the world.

The Paralympic Games is taking place in September 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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