Former Banyana Banyana captain and 2010 FIFA World Cup ambassador Desiree Ellis has been inducted into the gsport Hall of Fame at a breakfast held in Johannesburg on Thursday, attended by influential women across sport, business and entertainment, to celebrate the 2009 gsport Awards.
The gsport Awards is held to celebrate the best of South African women and laud the contributions of individuals who promote women in sport.
Ellis, who joins the illustrious trio of Penny Heyns, Hazel Gumede and Elana Meyer in the gsport Hall of Fame, was delighted with this latest recognition and says she gets goose bumps when she thinks about it.
“Every person has dreams of playing at the highest level, but to be inducted into the gsport Hall of fame is truly right up there with representing your country. I still have goose bumps when I think of it!”
Born on 14 March 1963, Ellis represented Banyana Banyana since its inception in 1993. She scored a hat-trick on debut against Swaziland and a year later she became national captain, only retiring in 2002 after a remarkable decade-long career in the national team.
During her tenure as captain, Banyana Banyana won 23 out of their 32 games. In 2000, Ellis received a Silver Presidential Sports award for her efforts in raising the profile of women’s football in South Africa.
There was double reason to celebrate for women’s boxing when Mbali Zantsi, South Africa’s first female boxing promoter, won the gsport Woman of the Year Award while Noni Tenge, the country’s first-ever women’s professional boxer, was crowned gSTAR (Sportswoman) of the Year.
Beverly Maphangwa, producer of the award-winning Discovery Sports Centre on Metro FM won the gsport Woman in Media award while socialite and businesswoman, Uyanda Mbuli, won the 2009 gsport Style Star Award.
KwaZulu-Natal sports science final year student, Lunga Ntuli walked away with the gsport Volunteer of the Year award for his promotion of women’s sport in his community while South Africa’s first-ever woman racer in the Wesbank series, Clare Vale, won the Clinique Personal Account Writer award for using sport to change her life.
gsport’s esteemed judging panel included renowned sports writer Jane Bramley of the South African Press Association, recently retired Sunday Times columnist Gwen Gill, Sunday World Senior Assistant editor, Kuli Roberts and 2007 gsport Hall of Fame inductee, Hazel Gumede.
The gsport initiative was launched in August 2006 to raise the profile of women in sport significantly to encourage corporate South Africa to throw their weight behind our women’s sports stars
2009 gsport Award Winners
- Desiree Ellis – 2009 Hall of Fame inductee
- Noni Tenge – Athlete of the Year
- Mbali Zantsi – Woman of the Year
- Beverley Maphangwa – Woman in Media
- Uyanda Mbuli – Style Star
- Clare Vale – Personal Account Writer of the Year
- Lunga Ntuli – Volunteer of the Year
Picture 1 Caption: The 2009 gsport Award winners are (from left) Desiree Ellis (2009 gsport Hall of Fame inductee), Beverly Maphangwa (Woman in Media Winner), Uyanda Mbuli (Style Star), Clare Vale (Clinique Personal Account Writer), Noni Tenge (gSTAR), Mbali Zantsi (Woman of the Year) and Lunga Ntuli (bottom, Volunteer of the Year Award winner) at the Wanderers Club on 30 July 2009. Picture: Trevor Kolk/www.sportzpics.net
Picture 2 Caption: Noni Tenge, Mbali Zantsi and Carol Manana at the 2009 gsport Awards, at the Wanderers Club, Illovo, on Thursday, 30 July, 2009. Women’s boxing was the big winner on the day, with South Africa’s 1st pro Women’s boxer Noni Tenge scooping the annual gSTAR Award as the website’s athlete of the year, while Zantsi walked off with the initiative’s Woman of the Year Award against stiff opposition. Picture: gsport