‘Education before sport’

2019-12-10 06:00
Desiree Ellis at Salt River.

Desiree Ellis at Salt River. (Nomzamo Yuku)

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After what she describes as an inspiring, but busy three years of spending the festive season away from home, Desiree Ellis, a Banyana Banyana coach from Hanover Park, is happy to take time off and be able to give back to her community.

She expressed her excitement for being home during her special appearance at a Salt River Blackpool Football Club girls’ training session in Blackpool Sports Complex on Wednesday 27 November.

Ellis plans to use the time off to relax with family and contribute to youth development where possible.

She says she understands how important it is to have a support system that guides you through building your career in sport, and said that talking about education to aspiring players is important.

Ellis admits that a sports career does not guarantee a sustainable future and says people must educate themselves.

She emphasised being educated from a young age, telling the team that playing sport should not be about winning games, but rather building a skill.

“Winning comes later on,” she says. She says she never stopped educating herself, through all the hard work it took to get to where she is now.

“Players are smart, you cannot just tell them anything,” Ellis says.

She says when she started with football there was not much opportunity, but today most players have qualifications.
“Make sure you have something to fall back on; not everybody is going to be a superstar, not everyone is going to make it to the national team,” she says. 
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