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Thursday, 25 April 2024

Desiree Ellis Receives Honorary Doctorate from CPUT

Ellis on stage with CPUT executives and Chair of Council Dr Laurine Platzky in blue gown. Ellis on stage with CPUT executives and Chair of Council Dr Laurine Platzky in blue gown.

Banyana Banyana Coach Desiree Ellis dedicated her Honorary Doctorate to all those who believe in the power of sport to propel them from their circumstances.

Ellis received the honour during CPUT’s Autumn Graduation Series which will see 7000 students getting capped this week.

The audience cheered as her accolades were read out including four successive Cosafa Cup titles between 2017 and 2020, and four Confederation of African Football CAF Women's Coach of the Year awards, amongst a host of other awards like coaching the women’s soccer national team to two Fifa World Cup Qualifiers.

Ellis says the accolades may be directed at her but are the culmination of teamwork.

“If the team does well then individuals stand out and I am fortunate that I am sometimes one of those individuals,” she said.

Ellis reflected on the thousands of women graduating at CPUT, many of whom will need to break barriers in male dominated spheres.

“At the end of the day if you are qualified then that space you want is not set aside for a male or female. Don’t be afraid of failing because that strengthens you and you get another opportunity to succeed later. To the females out there, just go for it, because other women who come from your neighbourhood is watching and want to emulate you.”

Ellis was supported by her mother and family along with good friend Ilhaam Groenewald who is herself a powerhouse female leader in sport as the Chief Director of Sport at Stellenbosch University.

CPUT Chair of Council Dr Laurine Platzky has known Ellis for many years and shared the stage with her as she received the honour.

“We are enormously proud of Banyana Banyana and their role on the African continent. Not only is Desiree’s message of hard work and patient persistence so important to all our young girls, but as a role model she lives a principled life untainted by the glamour of the spotlight. May this honorary degree be a recognition of her determined contribution to our country and an inspiration to all sportswomen.”

Nominations for Honorary Doctorate candidates are sourced from within the CPUT community, and the stringent process passes through a number of selection committees before being approved at Council, the highest decision making body at CPUT.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za