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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

UFS PhD scholar honoured by Free State MEC of Education
2016-12-12

Description: Thabo Sithole  Tags: Thabo Sithole  

Thabo Sithole was awarded a National Teaching Award
for excellence in teaching Physical Sciences.
Photo: Aneka van der Merwe

Thabo Sithole, a PhD student at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Education, was recently awarded a prestigious award during the provincial National Teaching Awards in November at which he was celebrated along with other teachers from the Free State.

Sithole was awarded for excellence in teaching Physical Sciences, using a variety of strategies to appeal to the different abilities of learners.

He holds a BSc Medical Microbiology, BSc Chemistry, BCom Economics, BSc Hons in Chemistry, BCom Hons in Economics and MA in Mathematics. To qualify to become an educator, he completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at UFS.

Apart from teaching, Sithole assists youths confronted with substance abuse and was instrumental in getting funding to assist young people in Jacobsdal. The Albertina Sisulu Youth Recreation Centre in the town now receives annual funding from the Free State Department of Social Development.

Through the National Teaching Awards, the Department of Basic Education acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of teachers, often achieved under very difficult conditions and in service to children from underprivileged families and economically depressed communities.

Leadership is a crucial element to all schools functioning at optimum with all teachers, learners and parents moving forward with a common vision for the improvement of the school.

Sithole’s work also focuses on clustering childhood development centres to work together in order to enhance the preparedness of learners entering primary school. The MEC for Education, Mr Tate Makgoe, said the National Teaching Awards recognised and promoted excellence in teaching.

The UFS Faculty of Education congratulated all teachers in South Africa who worked tirelessly to build a better future for all learners.

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