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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

A hat trick for Kovsie Master’s student
2016-07-28

Description: Candice Thikeson  Tags: Candice Thikeson

Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State
was the successful recipient of the Abe Bailey
Travel Bursary.
Photo: Johan Roux

Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Bright Young Mind, and now successful candidate of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary. These accolades now all belong to Candice Thikeson from the University of the Free State (UFS).

To complete the hat trick, she was declared the recipient of the bursary on 20 July 2016. She follows in the footsteps of Stefan van der Westhuizen, who was the UFS Abe Bailey recipient in 2015.

An unexpected breakfast announcement

Thikeson, Gosego Moroka, and Wonga Mfana were the UFS final candidates for the bursary.

Thikeson, who is currently a Master’s student in Art History and Image Studies, said she never expected to be the successful candidate, but is really grateful. “I would like to thank the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, the Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities, Prof Lucius Botes, and members of the Rectorate, and academic staff who gave me the news in such a special way.”

Promoting South African unity abroad

The objective of the bursary is to broaden the views of young South Africans to effect greater understanding and co-operation among those from various language and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, it wants to empower those who show exceptional leadership qualities and a strong service ethic, while adopting commitment and effective participation in a common future.

Most importantly, the bursary seeks to promote South African unity. It is awarded each year and consists of a three-week educational tour of England and Scotland. The host in the United Kingdom will be Goodenough College in London.

Thikeson will be overseas from 22 November to 17 December 2016, visiting London, Cambridge, Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Edinburgh in Scotland.

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