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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

Young researchers shine during Afromontane Colloquium
2016-12-01

Description: Afromontane Colloquium  Tags: Afromontane Colloquium  

From the left are Drs Reetu Sogani (India),
Greg Greenwood (US-Switzerland), Teboho Manchu
(Acting Campus Principal), Drs Jianchu Xu (China),
Henri Rueff (Switzerland), Glen Taylor (Senior Director:
Research Development), and Elsa Crause
(Campus Vice-Principal: Academic and Research).

The University of the Free State’s Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), which is situated on the Qwaqwa Campus, has the potential to produce some of the world’s best and dynamic young researchers. This is the view of Dr Henri Rueff, who was one of the keynote speakers during the recent ARU Colloquium hosted at Golden Gate in the Eastern Free State.

Dr Rueff, a geographer and environmental economist from the Universities of Basel and Bern in Switzerland, was referring to no less than ten Qwaqwa Campus postgraduate students who made oral and poster presentations during the inaugural international colloquium.

“You have some of the world’s most motivated and highly skilled students who have the courage to stand in front of extremely critical scientists from all over the globe – and that must be commended,” he said.

Also talking about the students at the colloquium, was Dr Reetu Sogani from India, who said that her first trip to South Africa did not disappoint. “This colloquium was a very good learning experience for me as I had the opportunity to interact with brilliant and young scientists from this part of the world,” she added. In closing the colloquium, the Senior Director: Research Development, Dr Glen Taylor, committed the UFS to the success of the unit.

“The ARU will strengthen the research output of the campus. But most critically, it is setting the research agenda for the Qwaqwa Campus, and for the institution at large, to address the challenges that the surrounding mountain communities are faced with,” he said.

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