Louzanne Coetzee (athletics) with guides Estean Badenhorst (left) and Claus Kempen.
The Free State Sport Stars Gala Dinner honors the province’s top disabled sportsmen and women for their achievements.
This prestigious event, presented by Central24 and the University of the Free State (UFS), is taking place in Monte Bello, Bloemfontein on October 13th.
It is the first time in three years that the highlight of the sports calendar has been organized, as the Covid-19 prevented in 2020 and 2021.
The final guest speaker, in 2019, was former Protea cricketer Ryan McLaren. This year it will be former South African netball player and renowned television presenter, Vanes-Mari du Toit.
Sports stars with disabilities honored in 2022 are:
Louzanne Coetzee (athletics – T11) with Claus Kempen and Estean Badenhorst (guides)
The athlete from Kovsie returned from the Paralympic Games with a silver medal (1,500 m; T11) and a bronze (marathon; T12). She also set a new African record for the 1,500m (T11; 4:40.96) and a new world record for the marathon (T11; 3:11:13) in her category. Badenhorst (1,500m) and Kempen (marathon) were his guides in Tokyo. At the South African national championship, Coetzee and Badenhorst set a South African record in the 400m (1:07:15) and won gold in the 800m and 1,500m.
Kristiaan Klopper (athletics – shot put and discus, U20 F64)
Klopper competed in the South African Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) National Championship for the first time in 2022 and won two medals – in the shot put and the discus. This matrix learner from Hoërskool Voortrekker in Bethlehem set South African records in both events. In the shot put, he won with 9.19 m, and in the discus throw with 28.21 m.
Karabo Morapedi (petanque, BC3) and Vincent Ramochela (ramp operator)
Morapedi is South Africa’s highest ranked BC3 male player. He and Ramochela were included in the SASAPD boccia squad for the African Regional Championships. He won two medals at this event, which was the first-ever championship of its kind: a silver in the BC3 men’s individual competition and a gold with his partner in the BC3 pairs competition. Morapedi also won a bronze medal at the 2022 National Championships.
Naledi Nhlapo (boccia, BC4)
After only three years of competition, Nhlapo is the top BC4 boccia player in the country. She was selected for the SASAPD boccia team which represented South Africa at the African Regional Championships. Nhlapo received an unofficial silver medal in the BC4 women’s individual competition and a gold medal with her partner in the BC4 pairs competition. She also won bronze at the 2022 National Championships.
– Jóhann Thormählen