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03 May 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer
Lynique Beneke
Lynique Beneke, long jump athlete of the University of the Free State and the national women’s champion seven times in a row, hopes to qualify for the World Championships.

The long jumper, Lynique Beneke, dreams of going to another Olympic Games and jumping over seven metres before she retires.

In between, there is still a World Championship later in the year for which she is trying to qualify. The qualifying standard is 6,72 m, not far from the 6,64 m she achieved at the national athletics championships at the end of April, which earned her a seventh consecutive national crown. At the time, it was the seventh best globally. She will have to qualify in Europe, as the South African season is over.

“With my faith as my biggest support, my mom and I both dreamed about me jumping exactly the same distance of 7,03 m! That is my big goal. I know I can do that,” Beneke (28) said. Her personal best is 6,81 m.

Special bond with coach


She is currently studying Education (BEd Senior and FET phase). “At this moment, I’m focusing on finishing my degree and enjoying my athletics. I want to give my athletics a fair chance, as I am only getting into prime shape now at this age. Once I’m done with athletics, I will focus on a career.”

According to Beneke, a 2016 Olympian and the Kovsie Senior Sportswoman of the Year for 2018, consistency is the name of her game. “I show up, even when I don’t feel like it. I push myself every day. I feel I have so much left in the tank, and that motivates me. All the glory to God.”

She is married to the hurdler, PC (also a Kovsie student). They moved from Gauteng to Bloemfontein at the end of 2017.

“My coach, Emmarie Fouché, was the big influence (coming here). I started working with her at the end of 2015. We work perfectly together; we are both women and have the same work ethic. She understands me. We are very close, and I think that is what makes the difference.”


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Kovsies Star of Stars gives back to communities that need it most
2017-01-15

Description: ' 000 A StarOfStars Finalists Tags: StarOfStars Finalists

The 11 Kovsie Star of Stars finalists.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Description: ' 000 A StarOfStars Winner Tags: A StarOfStars Winner

"Doctor" Tshepo Thajane, the 2017 Kovsie Star of Stars.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Starting in 2016, the UFS Marketing department embarked on a project designed to help learners from less fortunate backgrounds to discover their potential. This competition, dubbed Kovsies Star of Stars, recognises excellence in some of the most disadvantaged schools in the Free State. C-Squared Group, a black-owned and -managed agency, is partnering with the UFS in this endeavour. Amongst many other prizes on offer, the winner is awarded a full bursary to study at the UFS.

For the first year, two of the five Free State districts were identified, namely Xhariep and Motheo. Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners were invited to participate in 2016, the winner being announced at a gala event on the Bloemfontein Campus early in 2017, with Success Lekabe as host for the evening.

Nomonde Mbadi, Director of UFS Marketing, says of the contestants, “All 11 Star of Stars finalists had one thing to say that gave the judges goose bumps, and that was: ‘We want to give back to our community.’ This is truly commendable.”

"Doctor" Tshepo Thajane, from Lefikeng Secondary School in Botshabelo, was selected as the winner of the inaugural Kovsies Star of Stars competition. He is pursuing a degree in Actuarial Sciences, and will be a Karee resident. He says, “I loved UFS before I even came here, because of the respect I was shown. And I really didn’t think I would win; it just came as a surprise to me.”

Lebohang Lesenyeho, from Kgauho Secondary School (Botshabelo), had a special word for the organisers. “I would be very honoured if you could include a message to them. We really thank them for this opportunity.”

It is hoped the competition will garner the support of financial sponsors and be expanded to include learners from Grade 9, 10, 11, and 12 across all five districts in the Free State province.

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