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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

UFS presents sport concussion programme for schools
2008-11-14

The Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) will present a sports concussion programme for schools in the Free State.

“The Pharos Schools Concussion Programme makes the latest methods and technology in concussion management available to learners who play contact sport,” says Dr Louis Holtzhausen, Programme Director of Sports Medicine at the UFS.

The great risk of concussion is that there is an uncertainty about when a player can return to a sport with safety and with the minimum complications in the brain. This programme fills that gap to a large extent.

“By using this programme, no player who suffers concussion will return to play before it is medically safe to do so. The programme also educates players, parents, coaches and the medical fraternity on how to manage sports concussion,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The programme has been designed for hockey, soccer, cricket, rugby and other contact and collision sports.

SA Rugby has used the programme for professional players for the last five years and advocates that all school rugby players should participate in the programme.

Several sports teams from schools in and around Bloemfontein as well as the University’s Shimla and Irawa rugby teams have already been tested. This will provide invaluable information in the management of possible head injuries.

“We can now give definite guidelines to players and coaches regarding the safe return of players to teams after such an injury. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the management of concussion and provides peace of mind to coaches, parents and players regarding serious injuries,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

By enrolling in the concussion programme, learners and their parents are ensured of among others:

A baseline computer brain-function test before the start of the season.
Information on how to recognise and treat concussion, including a fieldside information card for the player’s team.
A free consultation and neurological examination by a sports physician after any suspected concussion.
As many brain-function tests and sports-physician consultations as necessary after any concussion, until complete recovery.
Referral to a network of specialists if necessary.

The Pharos Programme uses a cognitive function evaluation called Cogsport. This is a neurophysiological test that measures brain function before the season starts. In this way, a baseline standard is established and, should concussion occur during the season, the extent of it can be measured according to the baseline and rehabilitation.

“Once we have the baseline values, the concussed player’s return to those levels must be monitored. He/she can return to light exercise in the meantime and semi- and full-contact can be introduced at appropriate times,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

The cost of enrolment is R200 per learner, regardless of the number of concussions suffered or sports physician consultations received. “By enrolling in this programme, parents will ensure that their child has the best chance of avoiding the potentially serious consequences of concussion, including learning disabilities, recurrent concussions, epileptic fits and even death,” says Dr Holtzhausen.

More information on the programme can be obtained from Ms Arina Otto at 051 401 2530.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
14 November 2008
 

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