Banyana Banyana interim head coach, Desiree Ellis will be honoured at the 2017 South African Sports Awards after she was selected to be one of the recipients of the Excellence Award.
The event will take place on Sunday, 12 November 2017 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.
It is expected that the award will be handed over by the Minister of Sport and Recreation of South Africa, Thulas Nxesi.
“For the first time in my life I am truly at a loss for words – I really did not expect this. To say I am very humbled is an understatement – I feel blessed and privileged to be in this position, I am really over the moon by this award. Let me take this opportunity to thank the Minister and his team for bestowing me with such a prestigious honour,” says Ellis.
The Minister’s Award comes at the back of Ellis winning the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship held in Zimbabwe in September this year, as a coach. She also won the tournament as a player back in 2002 – thus rewriting the history books by being the first person to win as both player and coach.
Banyana Banyana defeated the hosts 2-1 in the final to claim victory in the 5th edition of the tournament. They have now won it four times – 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2017. They came second in 2011 after losing to Zimbabwe.
“This award is a great reward for all the years of sacrifice and commitment, for all the time when I felt like giving up but I kept on going because I was looking at the bigger picture,” adds Ellis.
The SA Sports Awards have been created to recognise and honour individuals and teams who excelled on and off field between the 1st of September 2016 and the 30th of August 2017.