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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

2016: The year that was on the Qwaqwa Campus
2016-12-19

Description: Dr Lehlohonolo Koao, Qwaqwa highlights 2017 Tags: Dr Lehlohonolo Koao  

Dr Lehlohonolo Koao believes his research
will improve ordinary lives.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Description: Prof Lis Lange, Qwaqwa highlights 2017 Tags: Prof Lis Lange, Qwaqwa highlights 2017

Prof Lis Lange making a point about
the governance, leadership, and
management processes at the university.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

Description: I-DENT-I-TIES, Qwaqwa Campus highlights 2017 Tags: I-DENT-I-TIES, Qwaqwa Campus highlights 2017

One of the leading performers of
I-DENT-I-TIES, Baanetse Mokhotla.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

The year 2016 has seen the Qwaqwa Campus become a hive of activity from all fronts.

Lithium-ion batteries research

On the research front, Dr Lehlohonolo Koao started work on the research that is aimed at improving lives of ordinary people. His research project focuses on improving the efficiency of lithium-ion batteries that are now commonly used in portable electronics, such as cellphones and laptops.

“This study will enhance power retention in the batteries for improved daily life since cellphones, solar panels, and laptops, to mention only a few, are now a way of life.’’

Dr Koao is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he specialises in solid state materials. He is also a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme.

Spotlight on the academic project

To create a conducive teaching and learning environment on the campus amid the academic difficulties experienced during the year, the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) hosted a critical conversation that was facilitated by Vice-Rector: Academic, Prof Lis Lange.

Prof Lange interacted with students who asked her very difficult, but critical questions relating to internal UFS processes aimed at academic excellence. Issues that were discussed included developing a common understanding on governance, leadership, and management processes at the university.

Student talent unearthed

This was a year during which massive student talent was unearthed by an unusual stage play called I-DENT-I-TIES. This large-scale interdisciplinary performance project afforded Qwaqwa students an unforgettable experience. This was according to Baanetse Mokhotla, one of the leading performers.

“I have personally learnt a lot about performing arts and also grew as an individual.”

The creative minds behind the play included New York-based Dutch director, Erwin Maas; Vienna-based Dutch theatre designer, Nico de Rooij; Djana Covic, a Serbian performance-craft-artist based in Vienna; and South African film and stage legend Jerry Mofokeng. The production was part of this year’s Vrystaat Arts Festival in Bloemfontein.

 

 

 

 

 

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