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Banyana Banyana coach receives honorary doctorate, and champions women’s soccer expansion

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis received an Honorary Doctorate at Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Autumn Graduation. Nominees for Honorary Doctorates at CPUT are selected from within the university community, evaluated by multiple committees, and approved by the Council.

Ellis spoke to VOC Breakfast on Monday to share more about her honorary doctorate and the expansion of women’s soccer. “You don’t normally do things for awards and rewards, but we always tell the players that if the team does well, individuals stand out, and I was just fortunate and blessed that I am this individual.”

“I got a call in last year, and then nothing happened, and I didn’t think anything of it. Until two weeks before the graduation, I got a call to say that I would be honoured with the Honorary Doctorate in Sports Management. I honestly did not know what to say.” Ellis said that this shows she is doing the right thing and inspiring others.


She feels that when a story of someone’s success is told, young children can latch on to that and say they come from a similar background, so if she can, they can achieve their dreams.

“Young kids out there can’t latch on to role models because they always feel like it is impossible, but everything is possible,” said Ellis.


Expansion in Women’s soccer

Ellis is excited to see the growth of women’s soccer. “There are young kids out there that want to showcase their talent, and to have that at the Super 7’s in Salt River, I take my hat off to Iqbal Kasker. He is being very innovative in bringing women onboard and making it bigger and better.”


Banyana Banyana coach commended the talented young soccer players at the Super 7’s, saying, “There is so much talent in the tournament.” She was impressed with the talents shown by the under-11’s and under-12’s players.


Ellis also applauded the parents for their support of the young players at the Super 7’s event, saying, “This was really important. Many children do not have parents coming to their games as their parents work more than one job, or sometimes the children are raised by single parents. It was fantastic to see the parents there.”


She stated that when she speaks to children, she tells them their dreams are valid because everyone has a dream of succeeding one day, but unfortunately, not everyone will.

“But in each and every one, there is talent, not necessarily football. So, you have to perceive that with everything you have to give yourself the chance to succeed.”

“I am just excited that these young kids are taking the opportunity to be there now because back in the day, there weren’t many, and we grabbed the little that there was,” Ellis commented.

VOC News

Photo: Pixabay

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