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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

Community Engagement Indaba a platform to engage Free State community stakeholders
2016-12-14

Description: Community Engagement Indaba  Tags: Community Engagement Indaba  

Teaching women handicrafts for self-sustainability.

The University of the Free State (UFS), through the office of Community Engagement and in collaboration with Bloemshelter, has hosted the Community Engagement Indaba in Bloemfontein since 2013. This is a platform where stakeholders in business, welfare and other community organisations can network and hold dialogues that can bring about solutions to some of the societal challenges faced by Free State communities.

Bloemshelter is an independent and registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and Public Benefit Organisation that provides shelter for the homeless; catering for women, women with children, the elderly, men and frail persons. The shelter accommodates up to 100 people in both the male and female shelters. The growing partnership it has with the UFS over recent years has grown its ability to reach out to local communities in a more effective way.

At the 2016 Community Engagement Indaba on 25-27 August, a number of stakeholders were invited to participate in the skills development action-learning workshops, under the theme: Unlocking Human Potential and Creating Jobs. This was a platform to strengthen the university’s partnerships with NPOs and other advocacy groups in the province. UFS academics, Community Service Learning students and community partners gave their presentations while the Director of Community Engagement, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, offered carpentry training. Among the participating collaborators was the Free State Department of Education, Celebrate Recovery, ABSA Bank, The Shunammite Foundation, Lebone Village, and Global University of Lifelong Learning (GULL).

Those who attended received certificates that will in future help them build a portfolio of learning evidence. The conference was about creating meaning, igniting learning, propelling movement, inspiring hope and encouraging sharing by bringing together students, academics and members of communities. The next Community Engagement Indaba will be held next year, on a date that will be announced early in the year.

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