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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

Stained glass artist’s hard work recognised
2016-07-13

Description: Bongani Njalo Tags: Bongani Njalo

Bongani Njalo, project co-ordinator for the
Program for Innovation in Artform Development,
was recognised as one of the 200 Young
South Africans by the Mail & Guardian category
for the year 2016.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

“I’ve used each highlight of my career as a benchmark for greater accomplishments.”

These are the words of Bongani Njalo, who was selected as one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans together with Adv Loyiso Makapela, Junior Lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) Law Faculty. Njalo was recognised in the Arts and Culture category for his outstanding contribution to the art scene.

Getting to know the artist

The fine art graduate has worked on different art projects in several cities, and is currently the project co-ordinator for the Program for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD). PIAD is a programme developed by the UFS and the Vrystaat Arts Festival, which focuses on how technology, interdisciplinary and experimental arts can connect with and impact on communities.

Aspiring artist on the move

Soon, this young artist will be on the move again, as he has been accepted into the Internal Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management at Deusto Business School, taking place in Bilbao in Spain in November and in New York next March.

When asked about the nomination, Njalo simply said: “To be honest with you, I don’t feel any differently whatsoever. I now feel I have more work I’d like to do.”

A man of many talents

Not only was Njalo an intern at the Mandela Bay Development Agency where he compiled the book entitled Art & Artists of the Eastern Cape, but he also curated the Eastern Cape Artists Exhibition at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2011.

In 2012, Njalo was invited to curate a group exhibition, Beehive, for the Cape Town International Month of Photography Festival, and in 2014 he won the David Koloane Mentorship Award.

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