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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

PSP allows Dr Thom Wium to develop as an academic
2016-12-26

Description: Matildie PSP Tags: Matildie PSP 

For Dr Matildie Thom Wium, the
rewarding part of teaching is “the
moments of synergy with a group of
students” and when she senses that she
could, for instance, help them to better
understand a music selection.
Photo: Sonia Small

Being part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP) has opened doors for Dr Matildie Thom Wium. She is able to better plan her research, and the overseas trips she has to undertake for this helps to develop her skills.

The senior lecturer in the Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) says these are some of the advantages the PSP holds for her.

She attended two international conferences this year – in London in January, and in New York in August. Furthermore, she is working on musical analysis with Prof Timothy Jackson at the University of North Texas, US from 12 September 2016 to 31 December 2016. Prof Jackson is a research professor and was one of her PhD promoters.

Conferences contribute to her vision
“I think the PSP is a fantastic initiative,” says Dr Thom Wium, whose husband Daniël Wium is a lecturer in Astrophysics at the UFS. She says the reseach support from the PSP is amazing. “In addition, the writing retreats offered by the PSP help to set time aside during the busy semester to work on articles.”

“I think the PSP is a fantastic initiative.”

The conference in London was on operatic practice in the 19th century. In the US, Dr Thom Wium, who has been working at the UFS since 2007, also participated in a panel discussion on this topic. “It means a lot for my vision as an academic to participate in conferences where I have the opportunity to meet and exchange thoughts with the people whose work I read and cite.”

Involvement in SA equally important

However, she believes that it is equally important to stay involved locally. At the conference of the South African Society for Research in Music, which was hosted by the OSM from 25 to 27 August 2016, she presented a paper on composer Arnold van Wyk and performed a song cycle by him. She did research on Van Wyk for her PhD.

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