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Desiree Ellis Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Cape Peninsula University of Technology

by Sports Central News
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Banyana Banyana coach, Dr Desiree Ellis, has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).


Banyana Banyana coach, Dr Desiree Ellis

Banyana Banyana coach, Dr Desiree Ellis, has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). The ceremony, held in Cape Town on Thursday, 25 April 2024, was a testament to Ellis’s significant impact on the sport and her tireless advocacy for women in athletics.

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Desiree Ellis Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Cape Peninsula University of Technology 3

Speaking to www.safa.net, an evidently moved Dr Ellis shared her thoughts on this momentous occasion. “I’m deeply honoured and grateful to have received this prestigious honorary doctorate from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in recognition of my contribution and collective journey in women’s football. Even though it’s a personal award, it is huge for women in sport. And in particular, we are happy that women’s football in an educational institution like CPUT can give an honour to an individual like me,” she stated.

Ellis, whose career spans both on and off the field, has been a pivotal figure in the advancement of women’s football, not only within South Africa but across the African continent. “This moment reflects the collective efforts, struggles, and triumphs of countless individuals. So many people have paved the way for women in sport and as I look back on my journey in women’s football, I’m struck by the challenges we have overcome,” Ellis added.

Her aspirations for the future are clear, with a strong emphasis on the progression of women’s football. “My dream is for women’s football to continue advancing and to include a professional women’s league, not just in South Africa, but in our continent of Africa. What made it (the award) even more special is that my family was present to witness this incredible moment. Thank you to CPUT for this incredible honorary doctorate and a big thank you to Banyana Banyana and SAFA,” she said.

Dr Ellis’s leadership has led the South African senior women’s team, Banyana Banyana, to notable successes including their historic win at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2022 and making a significant mark at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by reaching the Round of 16.

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan lauded Ellis’s achievements and the recognition she has received. “What can we say about Desiree, she continues to blaze a trail. We are proud of the doctorate conferred to Dr Ellis. Well deserved. Desiree has been a beacon of hope for aspiring female football players and coaches. She has proven, what men can do, women can do better. Congratulations Dr Ellis.”

This honorary doctorate comes on the heels of Ellis being honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in gold by President Cyril Ramaphosa and winning her fourth CAF Best Coach award in the women’s category, further cementing her legacy within the sport.

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