28 April 2023 – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has been honoured by President Cyril Ramaphosa with the Order of Ikhamanga in gold for her contribution to sport.
Ellis was one of several recipients who were awarded top honours by President Ramaphosa at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Bryntirion, Pretoria, on Friday (28 April 2023).
Ellis attributed her success to team work and thanked SAFA, the Banyana Banyana players, the members of her technical team, her support staff, the sponsors SASOL and the fans for their support.
“I am very overwhelmed, I will be honest with you, this feels like getting a knighthood,” she said.
“I am very grateful, I am very blessed to be able to receive it and I am even more blessed that for the first time at any event my mother has been able to come with me. So this is very special.”
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan applauded Ellis and said the honour will serve as an inspiration at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July.
“Through her amazing achievements, coach Desiree Ellis has become a continental brand and this latest honour further cements her status as one of the best football coaches in the country, and on the African continent,” the SAFA President said.
“She has achieved some wonderful accomplishments in a sport predominantly dominated by her male counterparts. I hope this Presidential honour will inspire her and the girls at the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.”