Active Schools Soweto (Johannesburg) Coach - Sportstec
She can’t chase her dreams if she’s standing still. @Sportstec is partnering with @Nike to get girls moving, because all girls are #MadeToPlay
In celebration of Women's Day, Ellen shares her views on being active with us
Why do you think sport and play are important for girls?
Look, I don’t see what the difference is between me and a guy. So what’s the difference then between a boy and a girl throwing a ball. Whatever a boy can do, a girl can do too. I believe it’s important; it was for me, to play soccer as much as the boys. Actually, I think girls can do better. There shouldn’t be specifics; My belief is EQUALITY. This is a new generation. Being active takes you out of a stigma of where girls are only meant to do chores. In South Africa and here in Soweto, a girl child still needs to (after school), go home, clean house, cook supper, fetch a young toddler sibling from creche etc. Boys aren’t expected to do that. Girls need to know that they have as much right to be active and to participate.
What advice would you give to other young girls to encourage them to get moving?
If I can move, why can’t you? Let’s all do this together. When you are active, when you move, you can think clearly and you boost your confidence. It’s refreshing. You make friends when you move and you learn that you’re not on your own, my situation isn’t as bad as I thought, there are friends out there with you.
What do you like most about being a coach?
I like laughing at myself. The smiles I put out there and the smiles that I get in return puts the heart at ease. I love making a difference to someone else, while Playing! It’s not only about coaching, it’s about being happy, having fun and changing lives.
“Mr Kavi Naidoo, the district athletics coordinator when I was in school would never let me off the hook. I was short and competing against girls with very long legs. He would just say ‘Come on, you didn’t run like this yesterday! Run against yourself. You can do this!’.”