Banyana coach reiterates call for women athletes to get equal pay

Banyana coach reiterates call for women athletes to get equal pay

Banyana Banyana Head Coach Desiree Ellis has reiterated the call by many in South Africa and around the world that women athletes deserve equal pay.

The award-winning coach adds that this will only help to better the standard of living of their families as most of them are breadwinners, with some coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Ellis was speaking to SABC Sport on the sidelines of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the Sports for Change Network Africa’s Photo Exhibition - a visual tribute to Women in Sport Conference held in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“It is their right to fight for it, it’s not that they just want the money for themselves, but they want the money to make sure that they can be better, they can eat better, they can do things to make them better. Equal pay is a big fight, women in sports is a big fight but they spend the same amount of time on the sports field. Their game is no different from the men’s – it is women playing sport and men playing sport, we have to look at it that way.”

The CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winning coach Ellis says that it is time that policies are adhered to and are not just lip service. She hopes the newly appointed Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Gayton McKenzie can tackle these issues head on as not much has changed over the years.

“I like the energetic new minister and hopefully he can make a change in there because as they were speaking about policies it's all been there for a long time but it's got to be implemented now, it's got to be more monitored and people have got to be able to accountable otherwise nothing is going to happen going forward. If we don't do that, we will be talking about the same conversation next year and the year after.”

Ellis is adamant that the playing fields in football will only be levelled when sponsors come on board and the Hollywoodbets Super League turns professional. She adds that without that support, the struggle will continue for club owners who are doing their best to stay afloat.

READ: Banyana have broken barriers for women’s football under COSAFA