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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

I don’t see myself as a star, says Wayde
2016-09-20

Description: Wayde and Rynhardt celebration Tags: Wayde and Rynhardt celebration

The achievements of Wayde van Niekerk and his
fellow Kovsie athlete, Rynardt van Rensburg,
at the Olympic Games, were celebrated during
a celebration ceremony for them on
15 September 2016 in the Callie Human Centre.
Photo: Johan Roux

The environment surrounding him has changed a lot over the past few weeks, but Wayde van Niekerk doesn’t see himself as superstar. The 400 m Olympic champion is embracing being back home and is feeling the love of the Kovsie family that helped him reach great heights.

“I see this (the Bloemfontein Campus) as a place where I can find peace,” the University of the Free State (UFS) athlete said at a celebration ceremony on 15 September 2016 for him and fellow Olympian, Rynardt van Rensburg. The event celebrated their achievements after participation in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their coaches, Tannie Ans Botha and Derek van Rensburg, were also honoured.

Van Niekerk looks ahead
“I am always excited to get back home,” Van Niekerk said. Everybody who means something to him is in Bloemfontein and on this campus. “I thank you for believing in me. I am only 24 years old and still have quite a few years left to keep on doing what I do.” He also conducted the official opening of the new KovsieFit gymnasium in the Callie Human Centre.

According to Prof Nicky Morgan, acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector, the attendees had “Wayde fever”. “We can’t really say thank you enough – at least for the association we have had with you (Van Niekerk) over the years.”

Rynardt didn’t expect best in Rio

 “I see this (the Bloemfontein Campus)
as a place where I can find peace.”

Van Rensburg reached the semi-finals in Rio and ran a personal best of 1:45.33 in the 800 m. “If we don’t have support, we won’t be able to do this,” he said.
Although his form was improving prior to the Olympics, he didn’t expect to run a personal best. “My dad (and coach) kept believing in me and telling me it is possible to do.”

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