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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Sarah, our own champion
2008-11-05

 
Sarah Shannon at the Paralympic Games in Beijing

 

Sarah Shannon, a second-year student in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education, has been involved in disability sport on national level for the past 12 years. Sarah has cerebral palsy.

In 1996 she participated at the South African National Championships for the physically disabled for the first time, entering for several sporting codes and winning five gold medals. In swimming she participates in the S3 class together with other swimmers that have comparable abilities to hers.

In 1997 she decided to focus on swimming competitively. She participated in her first national championships for swimming that year. After that (1998) she represented South Africa on international level at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Swimming World Championships in New Zealand where she ended 4th in the 50m backstroke and 7th in both the 50m and 100m freestyle in her class.

In 1999 she represented South Africa in Johannesburg at the 7th All Africa Games and won a silver medal for the 50m freestyle and a bronze medal for the 100m freestyle.

In 2000 she was part of the South African team at the Sydney Paralympic Games where she reached the finals and finished 7th in the 50m backstroke and 8th in the 50m freestyle. Northern-KwaZulu-Natal also awarded her the Junior Sportswoman of the Year award in 2001. In 2002 she participated at the South African Senior National swimming championships for KwaZulu-Natal in the multi-disability category.

In 2005 she completed the Midmar Mile. She also represented South Africa at the world championships for athletes with cerebral palsy in Boston in the United States of America. She won two gold medals for respectively the 50m freestyle and the 50m backstroke and two silver medals in the 100m and 200m freestyle. She was also nominated to represent South Africa as athlete’s representative on the world committee of CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association). In this year Sarah also received the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Sportswoman with a disability award of the year.

In 2006 she qualified for the IPC world championships but could not attend.

In 2007 she represented South Africa once more at the Visa Paralympic World Cup in Manchester in the United Kingdom where she broke the South African record in the 50m backstroke, finishing 7th in the 50m freestyle and 6th in the 50m backstroke.

She was also part of the very successful Team South Africa to the Paralympic Games in Beijing. She reached the finals in both the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. She finished 7th in the 50m freestyle and 6th in the 50m backstroke in personal best times for both events. She has been participating in the able bodied South African National Swimming Championships since 2002. She is currently ranked 2nd in the world for short course items and 11th for the long course items. She is truly our best swimmer in the S3 class.
 

 

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