Dludlu, Ellis join forces to find sponsors for women’s sport 

Despite Simphiwe “Shorty” Dludlu and Desiree Ellis being generations apart to have gotten an opportunity to play together at Banyana Banyana, they have now found another way to team up as they call on corporates in South Africa to step up and invest in women’s football before it’s too late. 

Dludlu and Ellis also worked closely with each other at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where Dludlu served as an assistant coach to Ellis – a combination that bore results, as Banyana went on to make history by becoming the first SA team to reach the knockout stage of a Fifa World Cup. 

However, despite Banyana’s heroics, most of the players in the team returned home to play under dire conditions. It is no secret that there is no professional women’s football league in SA due to a lack of sponsorship. 

“South Africa doesn’t have professional women’s football, while in other countries it is either semi-amateur or professional,” Dludlu told Sunday World. “So, a lot of women playing here at home can’t make a living, unless you go abroad or play for Mamelodi Sundowns because the players there get a salary, while the rest of the league in the Hollywoodbets Super League (amateur league) get stipends, and some don’t get anything,” she said. 

“Some players do not even have transport money to attend training, yet the product of women’s football is expected to be growing and shining.”  

She said there needed to be resources available and most importantly, access to those resources. 

Banyana’s efforts at the World Cup, did, however, not go unnoticed as TymeBank gifted the reigning African champions a fat R2-million prize money for their achievement. The bank is owned African Rainbow Capital,  which is chaired by Confederations of African Football president Patrice Motsepe. 

Ellis urged more corporates to come on board to support Banyana and women’s sports.  

“I would like to pick the brains of someone who works in sponsorship on what more women in sports need to do to get sponsors because there are a lot of corporates that are always ready to sponsor the men’s game.” 

Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News