Stories From the Road || Bangalore

In addition to our two World Record matches, we also regularly host football camps that deliver training in sport, empowerment and leadership in partnership with existing local teams and organizations that focus on sports development, education, health, community, and empowerment for girls and women. Check out some highlights from our latest camp below!

February 27: Bangalore, India

We were very excited to team up with Pass Collective and Shining Stars FC to host the AFC Women’s Day Equal Playing Field Football Festival.

Pass Collective is a social enterprise whose strives to nurture inclusive development and social equity through creative intelligence. Their work supports the Shining Stars Football Club and their mission to empower young people through football.

We were fortunate to link up with their founder, Shaona who coordinated the festival alongside the Karnakata State Football Association to honor AIFF’s (All Indian Football Federation) celebration of AFC’s Women’s Day. It was a natural fit!

On the pitch, players had the opportunity to develop agility, fitness and football skills with top level coaches.

Station 1 - Tanvie Hans
An ex-Tottenham and Fulham Ladies Footballer and an FA Level-1 certified coach.

Station 2 - Amoolya Kamal
An international level footballer who represented India in the 2014 Asian Games. She currently plays for South United Football Club and is an AFC C-License coach.

Station 3 - Lilly Thomas
An ultramarathon runner, state level footballer and futsaller, an advocate for enhancing mental health through sport and an AIFF D-License coach.

Station 4 - Paromita Sit
A former international footballer, current player for SUFC and AFC C-License holder.

Station 5 - Crystal Ann Pinto
Our goalkeeper coach for the camp who recently represented Karnataka in the senior nationals camp.

Thank you to ALL of the other female leaders who helped us during this event!

Stay tuned for more stories from the road as we continue to host camps for #AnyGirlAnywhere and support partners on their quest for opportunity, equality and respect. Nothing more, nothing less.

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!

Words of Inspiration from 10 Friends in 2018!

Welcome to our very own #EPFballdrop!

Over the final days of 2018, we highlighted the words of 10 amazing friends we hung out with this year on our Instagram page (give us a follow!)... in no particular order because, let's be real, they're equally awesome women, allies or change-makers in their communities. In case you missed it, we brought it to our blog as well. We hope their words inspire you as you head into a new year!

Deena from Bahrain is ready for another quest

Deena Rahman.jpg

Deena Rahman is the co-founder of Tekkers Academy in Bahrain and an inspirational coach. Deena joined Equal Playing Field for the world record breaking match in Tanzania and is coming to Jordan with the squad.

Deena shared with us how Kilimanjaro impacted her and her aims for the future:

‘Kilimanjaro was such a special and unique event in all of our lives for those that took part, and since returning it has driven the passion I have to promote and improve female football in Bahrain to the next level.

I am proud that I have over 100 females playing at Tekkers Academy and this season our U16 girls won the GCC cup and our ladies team have one several tournaments including the first beach Soccer tournament in Bahrain. The response to the EPF initiative has been really positive and only last week when I was introduced to someone they commented ‘oh you are the one who broke a record on Kilimanjaro’.

I strive to be a role model to any young players and when they see for themselves the positive impact and action being put to work, I can already sense they appreciate the environment they are in with us. I am excited to join the next quest in Jordan and continue our journey to an equal playing field.”

Welcome Deena to the squad for the Jordan Quest 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing her skills in the desert sand…

“My love affair” Lisa Handy, UK – based in UAE, joins the Equal Playing Field squad

Meet Lisa Handy, former winger at Sheffield United, Sheffield Ladies FC and Wednesday Reserves, in the UK. An avid athlete across a range of sports, here Lisa tells us why football features so highly and what climbing Mt Kilimanjaro means to her.

To support Lisa and the other Equal Playing Field players, please visit http://equalplayingfield.com/donate/

  

I’ve always been passionate about sport. By the age of 15 I was at school doing my GCSEs, dancing in shows across the UK and working three jobs to pay for my lessons and to buy equipment. I began working at a local sports centre as soon as I could and even set up my own basketball and football coaching programmes.  Football still plays a huge role in my life, as a Physical Education teacher, coach, player and avid supporter.

 

I play football for the love of the game. I play football for the physical, mental and social benefits it provides. I play it to escape and to learn and develop every day. It’s taught me to strive to be more than I ever thought was possible. Football taught me to love and accept everybody and it taught me to believe that anything was possible.

 

I have a huge and supportive family, although we’re scattered across the UK which is where I grew up, America and the Dominican Republic. But my mother was a single mother with five children so there wasn’t a lot of spare money. I’ve been working since the age of 12 to fund my passion.

 

I’ve always been aware of gender bias in sport, even though it never bothered me on a personal level. But I think that through my work I have also been able to help to break down barriers and perceptions of women in sport at a local, regional and sometimes even national level.

 

My proudest moments have not necessarily come through my own or my team achievements.  Instead it’s been in the precious moments I've shared through teaching and coaching; watching a young person develop in confidence through being part of a team, feeling a sense of belonging and mastering a new skill. Coaching coaches in the US and UK to ensure whole communities of footballers and clubs could develop and progress with a better knowledge and understanding of the beautiful game. The last 3 years I have suffered a couple of injuries through football, a broken wrist and a cracked cheekbone, but every time a young person smiles because of a successful challenge, goal scored or skill mastered, I am reminded why my love affair with football still exists.

 

I’m climbing Kilimanjaro because I believe that sporting prowess is sporting prowess, skill is skill, passion is passion and no matter what gender you are, what country you’re from or which sport you’re involved in, this should not only be recognized but celebrated. I may not see immediate change that will affect me directly in my lifetime. But I – we – will be making a difference for the next generation of women.

 

 

To support Lisa and the other Equal Playing Field players, please visit visit http://equalplayingfield.com/donate/

To find out more about the challenge, please go to www.equalplayingfield.com