By Melissa Cook
Growing up in Cape Town, Desiree Ellis was always kicking a ball. Later, professional football called and she answered. She captained the national women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana, for 10 years. Today, as well as coaching, she devotes her time to improving the lives of others through sport.
The former midfielder now spends her time doing projects for Stars in their Eyes and Soccer4All. Run by former international player and now coach George Dearnaley, the latter is a grass-roots football initiative using former South African international players to coach primary school kids. Ellis also participates in the Sports Heroes Walk Against Aids, founded by Cynthia Tshaka, and is an assistant coach of Banyana and coach at Spurs Women FC, as well as an analyst for SABC Sport.
Watch Ellis and other South African sports stars on the Play Your Part TV series on Sundays on SABC2 at 9pm.