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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

Heritage translates into fashion
2016-09-13

Description: Centre for Africa Studies Tags: Centre for Africa Studies

Vuyo Mbutho, winner of the best dressed
traditional wear, and Palesa Mokubung,
acclaimed fashion designer.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

There is no such thing as overnight success. You need to earn your way to the top through hard work, which is exactly what critically acclaimed fashion designer Palesa Mokubung did.

During the 2016 Heritage Day lecture hosted by the Centre for Africa Studies, entrepreneur, award winner and fashion visionary Mokubung told how she had begun her career with the label Stoned Cherrie. Kroonstad-born Mokubung then formed her own label in 2004 called Mantsho, which is Sesotho for “brutally black”.

A true Mantsho garment can be identified by three elements that describe Mokubung’s knowledge of her craft, namely its confident and effortless silhouette, structure and quirkiness. “I was taught to express myself from a very young age and my job is to give people life through my clothes,” she says.

Under the management and creative leadership of Mokubung, Mantsho has gone on to travel to places such as Greece, India, New York, Jamaica, Nigeria, Botswana, and Senegal showcasing its designs.

Mokubung says she does not look far for inspiration because she lives in such exciting times. “Sometimes the fabrics talk to you and you should listen to them.”

This confident, straight talker with her high standards says that all aspiring fashion designers need to earn their way to the top. “You get over it by getting over it, and by working through it.”

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