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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

Teaching has always been in opera singer’s genes
2016-12-26

Description: Albertus Engelbrecht Tags: Albertus Engelbrecht 

Albertus Engelbrecht believes that his predecessor
and mentor at the Odeion School of Music ,
Peet van Heerden, prepared him wonderfully for his task
as Vocals lecturer.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

He has captivated audiences from Berlin to Los Angeles with his singing talent for 17 years. Yet, teaching has always been in his genes, and as a child Albertus Engelbrecht dreamed about teaching music someday.

Once, when the opera singer stood on the Free State flats during his MMus studies at the University of the Free State (UFS), he knew this is where he would come.

He has been employed as Vocals lecturer at the Odeion School of Music (OSM) since 1 July 2016 and is now ploughing back his knowledge for students he believes have an incredible passion for singing that is not found even in European vocalists.

Concerts in Los Angeles stand out
Engelbrecht was a lyrical tenor at the Landestheater Niederbayern in Passau, Germany, and was working with students as well as professional singers (in Nürnberg and later Passau). However, he was bitten by the teaching bug much earlier. “When I was a student at Stellenbosch (where he obtained his BMus degree at Stellenbosch University), I discovered I had a love for vocals training,” he says.

He has performed all over Europe and worked with famous conductors such as Philipp Augin (Los Angeles Opera). “The most impressive performance was the New Year concerts in Los Angeles, and specifically the concert in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, with fantastic architecture by Frank Gehry, and housing approximately 2 260 people.”

“When I was a student at Stellenbosch, I discovered that I had a love for vocals training.”

Big boots to fill at OSM
He achieved his master’s degree magna summa Cum Laude at the UFS and received the Fanie Beetge prize for the best postgraduate student. He studied for his master’s degree under Peet van Heerden, with Dr Matildie Thom Wium as supervisor.

Following Van Heerden’s retirement, Engelbrecht had big boots to fill. “The most important thing that I learnt from him as mentor was that the instrument of a vocalist is also the body and soul of that individual – to be able to see the human standing, singing before me.”

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