During her time with Georgia Soccer, Ella Sheppard was an advocate for and creator of many of the first female soccer leagues both for youth and adult players in Georgia.
In 1970, Sheppard founded the first separate girls soccer program at the Decatur-DeKalb YMCA after serving for two years as commissioner for the boys league, in which both her sons and daughters played in. During her four years leading the new girls program, she worked to overcome the second-class perception and treatment of it.
In 1976, she formed the Phoenix Girls Soccer League and served as its President until 1985. That same year Sheppard organized a 5-team Phoenix Adult Women's Soccer League and held the position of Commissioner until she retired.
In 1979, a classmate of her daughter was seriously injured while playing on her high school's boys soccer team. In response to this, Sheppard exhausted all available avenues while searching for equal opportunity for girls in high school soccer and came up short. To prove the need, she organized and served as Commissioner of a 17-team Georgia high school female soccer club league.
By 1980, the league encompassed all high schools in DeKalb County and select schools from others. Five years later, after making massive strides for girls and women in soccer, Sheppard retired. In 1994 she became the first woman to be inducted into the Georgia Soccer Hall of Fame.