Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis will be honoured with The Order Of Ikhamanga award later this month.
The 60-year-old, who was recently voted CAF’s Women Coach of the Year for the third successive time, is one of the few nominated local and foreign nationals who will be awarded National Orders at the ceremony on 28 April.
National Orders are the highest awards that the country bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.
The Order Of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.
‘’I am super blessed but at the same time very emotional,” Ellis said. “Football is a team sport and this award is not about me but everyone who contributed to the success of Banyana Banyana, from the players, the technical staff as well as the back room staff.
‘’This could not have been possible without the solid support from the Association, especially the president [Danny Jordaan] and his team. I am so happy because this is huge; getting this national honour is like getting knighthood.”
Banyana won the African Women’s Cup of Nations last year after beating hosts Morocco 2-1 in the final, in the process qualifying for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this July.