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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

Osaka University in Japan joins forces with UFS to discuss SA and Africa
2016-03-23

Description: Yani Karavasilev  Tags: Yani Karavasilev

Yani Karavasilev of Osaka University speaking about political stability and Foreign Direct Investment in the Southern African Development Community on day-2 of the joint conference between Osaka University and the University of the Free State.
Photo: Dr Marina da Silva

Recently, international delegates convened for the annual Osaka University-University of the Free State (UFS) Conference to discuss issues that affect Africa. This high-profile conference was hosted by the UFS Department of Political Studies and Governance from 22-23 February 2016. The event focused its attention on the state of South Africa (SA) as well as conflict resolution on the African continent.

Topics of discussion

Scholars and policymakers proceed to map out the political, economic, social, and educational trajectory of SA and the African continent. Some of the topics of discussion included SA politics, democracy, economy, foreign policy, race, education, and peace. Delegates also looked at foreign direct investment in the Southern African development community and organisations such as the United Nations and the African Union.

Entangled in turmoil

At the conference, Prof Virgil Hawkins of the Osaka School of International Public Policy, (Osaka University) presented a paper entitled: The role of the local media in Burundi’s 2015 coup attempt. In his presentation, Prof Hawkins analysed the impact made by Radio Publique Africaine, Renaissance, Isanganiro, and Bonesharadio stations during the conflict. Had it not been for these private radio stations, the events leading to, during, and after the coup would not have received international coverage.

Prof Hawkins explained that prior to the coup, “key private radio representatives were called to Musaka military camp” by former intelligence chief, Major General Godefroid Niyombare. He informed them about the coup plot and urged them to report on it. The government in turn accused the independent media of colluding with the coup conspirators. As a result, the radio stations were attacked, coerced to go off-air, and subsequently destroyed. Despite overt efforts by the state to suppress the media’s freedom of expression, it did not succeed.

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