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21 May 2019 | Story Igno van Niekerk | Photo Stephen Collett
Digital storytelling
Collaborating for the common good are from left: Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, and Dr Johan van Zyl.

Prof Hendri Kroukamp, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences quoted the Cat Stevens song I can’t keep it in, to capture the excitement surrounding the opening of a Digital Storytelling Lab on the Bloemfontein Campus on 10 May 2019.

After months of hard work by Dr Deidre van Rooyen, Willem Ellis, Karen Venter, as well as the staff of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Development Support, the Common Good First lab was completed just in time for the launch attended by about 50 delegates from other South African universities, as well as private and public institutions.

Stories meet technology

In a message, from Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Vice-Rector: Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, informed the audience that the launch heralded the joining of the old world of stories with the new world of digital technology. Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, welcomed the UFS as a partner to this international social innovation collaborative project in a video message. 

Dr Van Rooyen, the project manager for the UFS, explained how she got involved in the Common Good First project, what the benefits of digital storytelling are, as well as what opportunities the lab creates for cooperation between role players involved in social innovation projects. 

Why the Common Good First lab?

The purpose of the lab is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to one another and to universities around the world for research, student engagement and learning and teaching. The lab has been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for recording and digitising the stories that result from social innovation projects.

In a live Skype session with Dr Il-Haam Petersen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and some of the recent successes of the digital stories in Philippi in the Western Cape were shared.

Bishop Billyboy Ramahlele, UFS Director Community Engagement did the final honours by cutting the ribbon, declaring the lab open, and sharing the dream that the work done in this lab will contribute to positive relationships and cooperation between the university and the community, in making not only the university, but the country and the world a better place.


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Wag-’n-Bietjie, Vishuis and Sonnedou the winners at athletics
2016-01-22

Description: 2016 KL Athletics  Tags: Wag-’n-Bietjie, Vishuis and Sonnedou the winners at athletics The First-year Athletics event was a celebration of colour and fun. Besides the athletics on and around the track at Pellies Park on the Bloemfontein Campus, the first-years encouraged their different residences with great enthusiasm.
Photo: Johan Roux

 

Six out of six.

This is the proud record Wag-’n-Bietjie can boast of after the residence walked away with the women's athletics trophy for the sixth year in a row during the University of the Free State's first-year athletics meeting.

This year's men's winner, Vishuis, attained a hat trick on 20 January 2016 at Pellies Park on the Bloemfontein Campus when the residence was once again named as the athletics champion. Vishuis also won in 2014 and 2015.

What makes Wag-’n-Bietjie's triumph even more remarkable is the fact that the residence ran the fastest, jumped and threw the farthest in eight out of the past nine years. Marjolein won in 2010.

Sonnedou was second, with Roosmaryn and Soetdoring collectively the third women's residences. In the men's division, Legatum and Armentum were second and third respectively.

Sonnedou has the best spirit

The event, a celebration of colour and fun, was characterised by groups of singing first-years yelling their lungs out. The UFS Student Representative Council judges the winners of the different Spirit trophies.

Sonnedou was the overall winner of the Spirit trophy – something even more important than the action on and around the track for some residences.

Sonnedou was named the winner in the division for women's residences, after which the residence was also crowned as overall winner. Welwitschia and Vergeet-My-Nie were second and third respectively in the women's division.

In the men's division, Armentum, who continued singing even when it was raining later in the evening, was the well-deserved winner of the Spirit trophy. Villa Bravado was second with Tswelopele third.

Conlaurês won the Spirit trophy for Co-ed residences, with Imperium and Kagiso second and third respectively.

Wayde a special guest

The Kovsie athlete, Wayde van Niekerk, who also participated in the first-year athletics meeting in his day, was a special guest.

The 400 m athlete, who will represent South Africa at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, was presented to the first-years during the official welcoming ceremony.

Van Niekerk is still the Kovsie record holder in some events, including the 200 m and the 400 m, as well as the 4 x 100 m team relay event.

Team and individual results for the event.

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