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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

Alumni in the financial sector: money talks!
2016-12-26

Description: Marina Marinkov Tags: Marina Marinkov 

Marina Marinkov, Economist at the
International Monetary

Description: Evangelina Nailenge Tags: Evangelina Nailenge

Evangelina Nailenge, General
Manager: Investment Institutions at
Namibia Financial Supervisory Authority.

Description: Vuyelwa Vumendlini Tags: Vuyelwa Vumendlini

Vuyelwa Vumendlini, Chief Director:
Global and Emerging Markets, National
Treasury.

Description: Meshach Aziakpono Tags: Meshach Aziakpono

Prof Meshach Azaikpono, Professor of
Development Finance, University of
Stellenbosch.

Description: Anton Nicolaisen Tags: Anton Nicolaisen

Anton Nicolaisen, Provincial Head for
the Free State Province, Standard Bank.

Where are they now?

On good days, most of us battle to set our personal finances straight,  let alone be responsible for a large enterprise. So we are extremely proud of the well-trained and talented Kovsie alumni who fill prominent shoes. Operating mostly away from the public eye, they make decisions to improve the economy on various levels. It is heartening to know that the UFS contributes to financial matters and training all across the globe.  

Marina Marinkov


Courses: BCom (Economics), BCom Hons (Money and Banking), and MCom (Economics) (2000-2004)
Current position:
Economist at the International Monetary Fund
Biggest career obstacle: I once worked for an organisation with poor leadership which negatively affected employee morale and job performance. It still proved to be a great learning experience, though. Bad bosses can teach us powerful lessons.
Best career advice:
Stop doubting yourself, work hard and be humble.
Fondest memory of UFS: Time spent on campus with my classmates, whether studying for finals at the library or just catching up between classes. The UFS was also my first employer and I have plenty of wonderful memories with colleagues at the Department of Economics.


Evangelina Nailenge

Courses: BCom Hons (Money and Banking) MCom (Money and Banking) (2005-2006)
Current position: General Manager: Investment Institutions at Namibia Financial Supervisory Authority
Biggest career obstacle: At times, being one of the youngest requires you to work twice as hard to earn your voice and cue at the decision-making table.
Best career advice: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” Eccl. 9:10
Fondest memory of UFS: Walking around the campus. Its well-manicured lawns and gardens had a calming effect in the midst of academic pressures. I will forever treasure the moment I first saw my name engraved in the walls of FGG, as the best postgraduate student for both 2005 and 2006.

Vuyelwa Vumendlini

Course: BCom Hons (Economics) (1996-1999)
Current position: Chief Director: Global and Emerging Markets, National Treasury
Biggest career obstacle: Doubting your own capabilities.
Best career advice: The sky is the limit, go for it all out, but most importantly, do something that you are passionate about it. It makes your work much more meaningful.
Fondest memory of UFS: Working as a tutor in my honours year and being able to help other students. I also enjoyed hanging out at Mooimeisiesfontein on Saturday afternoons.


Prof Meshach Azaikpono

Course: PhD in Economics (2004-2008) “The Depth of Financial Integration and its Effects on Financial Development and Economic Performance of the Southern African Customs Union Countries”. He received the Founders’ Medal for the best PhD dissertation in Economics in South Africa.
Current position: Professor of Development Finance, University of Stellenbosch.
Biggest career obstacle: I was fortunate to never have experienced a major career obstacle.
Best career advice: Pursue and focus on your passion.
Fondest memory of UFS: Being a part-time student, I had very limited interaction with the broader university environment. But I really enjoyed the support provided by the library staff and the staff from the Department of Economics. It was always like coming to see friends.


Anton Nicolaisen

Course: BEcon (1986-1989), MBA (1999-2003)
Current position: Provincial Head for the Free State Province, Standard Bank
Biggest career obstacle: Earlier in my career, I fell into a comfort zone and had to acquire the willingness to change.
Best career advice: Continuously challenge yourself to be the best possible person you can be, and run your own race. Learn through difficult times, and be open to change.
Fondest memory of UFS: Although I was not the biggest academic, I enjoyed interacting with lecturers … their stories and unique characteristics. Back then, I interpreted some as funny or awkward, only later did I realise how much I had learned from them. And of course, I’ll always remember the team spirit at athletics meetings and intervarsity.




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