Equal Playing Field

Ambassador of the Month: Susie Petruccelli

One of our goals at Equal Playing Field is to be connectors of individuals and organizations who are on similar quests to bring opportunity, equality, and respect to women’s football.

As connectors, we’re fortunate to meet a lot of really amazing people who go on to share our mission with their communities! We like to think of these people as unofficial ambassadors of Equal Playing Field and we’re excited to share their stories with you all.

First up? Susie DeLellis Petruccelli who was born and raised in Southern California, went to college at Harvard and now lives in New York.

How long have you been involved in football?

I started playing soccer when I was five on a coed AYSO team called the Little Rascals in my home town of South Pasadena.  Soccer got hold of my heart and never let go.  After the first years of AYSO, my twin sister and I played club, high school, ODP and then at Harvard.

Becoming aware of the dearth of athletic opportunities for girls before Title IX in the US, and still around the world, I got back into soccer and women’s sports history after a career in technology and many years raising a family, by beginning work on a book called Title IX and Tampons.  I entered the sport for development world by supporting amazing organizations like the Women’s Sports Foundation, Coaches Across Continents and the Global Goals World Cup.  

I’m currently producing a documentary (Warriors of a Beautiful Game) with Kely Nascimento about women’s football which will be dovetailed by a project (Warrior Women of Football) to support grassroots organizations that are using football as a tool to help girls around the world. 

How did you get involved with, or first hear about, Equal Playing Field?

I first heard about Equal Playing Field on Twitter.  I heard that a group of women were climbing Kilimanjaro to play the highest elevation soccer game ever played.  I was inspired and totally jealous.  :)  I wished I was on that expedition!  Then I heard that they were doing the same thing at the Dead Sea and I was impressed again and even more inspired.  It really is such a beautiful metaphor for how far women will go to play the game we love.  Eventually we were connected with Laura (EPF co-founder) and Amirose (producer of the documentary film Equal Playing Field, to be launched in 2019).  My brother Tom and I are now Executive Producers in the Equal Playing Field documentary and we can’t wait to see the whole story of the two expeditions and all of the amazing and brave people who persevered to break the two world records.  I was able to participate after all in this small way.

Kely and I are also excited to be supporting the upcoming Festival of Football in Lyon in June.  It’s a brilliant opportunity to bring supporters of women’s football together from around the world and celebrate how far we’ve come, how bright our future is and also break another world record.  

How do you try to level the playing field in your community?

I try to level the playing field in my own environment and also by keeping my eyes and ears (and Twitter @sooozie) open for inequalities that I may not have seen or heard about yet.  Everywhere we go we see barriers and inequalities unique to specific communities.  We want to continue to share these stories and support leaders in these areas. 

We’re excited to have Susie join us on our quest for a third world record this summer at the Festival of Football in #France2019! Give @sooozie a follow on Twitter to stay in touch with this changemaker and EPF supporter!