Kovsies in amazing “Casual Day” race


SABRINA DEAN – The gloves came off at the University of the Free State this afternoon as 13 Kovsie faculty and department heads celebrated Casual Day by participating in an "Amazing Race" with a difference.
In a mock-up of the popular reality TV show, Kovsie staff members were paired with blind students, who then served as navigators by deciphering the Amazing Race clues written in braille. Ten Bloemfontein car dealers also came on board to sponsor a driver and vehicle to ferry the teams to the five different stops across the city before racing back to the finish line on campus.
One of the navigators, education student Petrus Goeieman, says it’s a great way of creating awareness about persons with disabilities. “It is creating a lot of awareness, not only among staff but among other students as well, so I think it’s a great idea,” he says.
Before setting off, his team mate, Dr Johan van Zyl of the Department of Economic and Management Sciences, said he was a bit nervous, but trusts Petrus to make sure they don’t end up in Johannesburg today.
“I trust him a lot, and I guess I have to because he is the one who is going to be doing the reading work, but I am confident we are not going to go off course,” he says.
Meanwhile Professor Lucius Botes, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, says today will provide insight into what it is like to live with a disability.
“I think it is a celebration of our sense of humanity. What is really good about it is we get to connect with the world of the disabled today because our navigators are going to have to read the clues in braille,” he says.
The winning team, comprising Dr Brand Claassen of the Law Faculty and student Johnny Makoka, surprised organisers by crossing the line much earlier than anticipated this afternoon. In second was Lucius Botes and Prince Magadla, while Nico Bekker of ICT Services and David Nkwenkezi secured third place.
The ten motor dealers who sponsored vehicles and drivers were: Lindsay Saker, John William’s Motors, Human Auto, Central Nissan, Sovereign BMW, Kia Motors, Oranje Toyota, Volvo, Hyundai Bloemfontein and Honda Auto Bloemfontein.
The University’s Hetsie Weitch says several dealers have already indicated they intend coming on board to continue the initiative next year.