Two all-female international teams will battle it out at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. They seek more than glory; they seek an “Equal Playing Field”.
In June 2017 two all-women football teams will battle it out for 90 minutes just below the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. If they succeed, they will break the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude football game ever played.
The players, from more than ten countries, include former Canadian national Sasha Andrews, former German World Cup star Petra Landers, Afghan national Hajar Abufazl, former FIFA World Cup referee Jacqui Hurford (née Melksham) and pro players or competitive amateurs from Argentina, France, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, the UK, US and the United Arab Emirates.
The Equal Playing Field initiative, formally launched today, March 8 2017, on International Women’s Day joins the movement to increase opportunity, equality and respect for women seeking to play or work in sport, and raise the profile of inspirational female sporting role models in the media.
The week after the world record match, EPF will work with local teams and organisations in ten countries to host football clinics to support and advance women’s football development globally. The whole initiative will be covered and widely publicised by a team of award-winning filmmakers.
“The problem is as simple and powerful as our love of the game,” said Erin Blankenship, Equal Playing Field co-founder. “The lack of equality for and representation of women in sport is appalling across the board. Equal Playing Field is taking aim at the systematic inequalities girls and women face that limit their opportunities, acceptance and value as athletes and individuals, starting with those on a football pitch.”
“Playing a football match at this altitude has never been done before. We want to break a record to inspire other women and girls to keep challenging the inequalities in sport”, said Laura Youngson, Equal Playing Field’s co-founder. “Sport brings friendships and community, commitment and leadership, and strength and health. No girl should miss out on those benefits because of her gender."
The women seek to take the fight for equality in sport to new heights, more than 2km higher than the world’s highest official stadium.