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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

Prof Danie Vermeulen appointed as dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
2016-03-18

Description: Prof Danie Vermeulen Tags: Prof Danie Vermeulen

As the new dean of the UFS Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Prof Danie Vermeulen is resolute to place this faculty on the world map.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) approved the appointment of Prof Danie Vermeulen as dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences during its meeting on 11 March 2016.

“Prof Vermeulen brings to the position of dean a set of formidable research and leadership achievements and a track-record of commitment to equity and diversity in the sciences," said Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

“It is a great honour that was bestowed on me to lead the faculty and it makes me feel very humble," said Prof Vermeulen.

Fifteen years ago, Prof Vermeulen joined the UFS as a researcher and lecturer. From 2007-2009 he filled the role of acting director of the UFS Institute for Groundwater Studies to subsequently be appointed as not only the director of this institute, but also associate Professor in Geohydrology.

As an alumnus, Prof Vermeulen has strong ties to the UFS. He acquired a BSc Honours, MSc, and PhD Cum Laude in Geohydrology here.This pursuit of excellence also transpires in his aspirations for the faculty’s future. “My vision is that the faculty becomes the best in South Africa in various departments – and recognised throughout Africa, especially in the applied sciences. In addition, the faculty will actively interact with world-leading universities, particularly in the hard sciences.”

Prof Vermeulen is a member of the Executive Committee of the Free State branch of the Groundwater Division of South Africa, member of the Executive Council of the International Mine Water Association, as well as council member at the Fossil Fuel Foundation of South Africa. In the past, he has held membership at the International Association of Hydrogeologists, South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions, Ground Water Division of the Geological Society of South Africa, Water Institute of South Africa, FETWATER Groundwater Initiative, and Editorial Board member of the scientific journal, Water SA.

Prof Vermeulen served as the acting dean for six months prior to his appointment. His appointment commences on 1 April 2016 for a period of five year.

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