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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.”


News Archive

Sites of memory. Sites of trauma. Sites of healing.
2015-04-01

Judge Albie Sachs – human rights activist and co-creator of South Africa’s constitution – presented the first Vice Chancellor’s Lecture on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past on 26 March 2015 on the Bloemfontein Campus.

His lecture, ‘Sites of memory, sites of conscience’, forms part of a series of lectures that will focus on how the creative arts represent trauma and memory – and how these representations may ultimately pave the way to healing historical wounds. This series is incorporated into the five-year research project, led by Prof Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, and funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Sites of memory and conscience – and healing

“Deep in solitary confinement, I read in the Bible: ‘the lion lay down with the lamb … swords will be beaten into ploughshares.’” And with these opening words, Judge Sachs took the audience on a wistful journey to the places in our country that ache from the past but are reaching for a better future at the same time.

Some of the sites of memory and conscience Judge Sachs discussed included the Apartheid Museum, Liliesleaf, District Six Museum, and the Red Location Museum. But perhaps most powerful of them all is Robben Island.

Robben Island

“The strength of Robben Island,” Judge Sachs said, “comes from its isolation. Its quietness speaks”. Former prisoners of the island now accompany visitors on their tours of the site, retelling their personal experiences. It was found that, the quieter the ex-prisoners imparted their stories, “the gentler and softer their memories; the more powerful the impact,” Judge Sachs remarked. Instead of anger and denouncement, this reverence provides a space for visitors’ own emotions to emerge. This intense and powerful site has become a living memory elevated into a place of healing.

After Judge Sachs visited the National Women’s Memorial in Bloemfontein some years ago, he came to an acute realisation as he read the stories, experienced the grief, and saw the small relics that imprisoned commandoes from Ceylon and St Helena sculpted. “It’s so like us,” he thought, “our people on Robben Island making a saxophone out of seaweed, our people carving little things. It was so like us. It was another form of inhumanity to human beings in another period.”

The Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court next to the Old Fort Prison is also a profound site of trauma and healing. Bricks from the awaiting trial lock-up were built into the court chambers. “We don’t suppress it, we don’t say let’s move on. We acknowledge the pain of the past. We live in it, but we are not trapped in it. We South Africans are capable of transcending, of getting beyond it,” Judge Sachs said.

Transforming swords into ploughshares

Judge Sachs had great praise for Prof Gobodo-Madikizela’s research project on Trauma, Memory, and Representations of the Past. “You convert and transform the very swords, the very instruments, the very metal in our country. In a sense, you almost transform the very people and thoughts and dreams and fears and terrors into the ploughshares; into positivity.”

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