Throughout history sportswomen have had to climb metaphorical mountains: pushing boundaries for the right to compete but, for many, the fight for equality is ongoing. For that reason a group of 30 women will attempt to break the world record for the highest game of competitive football ever played.
Over the course of seven to 10 days, the women will scale nearly 6,000 meters and after reaching the summit, they will descend to 5785 metres and play a 90-minute, 11-a-side match on a volcanic ash pitch at an altitude not attempted before.
The initiative is led by Equal Playing Field, a project aimed at supporting local organisations that contribute to developing women’s football for all the reasons that sports are great for society and especially critical for women.
The footballers, include retired US international Lori Lindsey, former England midfielder Rachel Unitt, ex-Germany international Petra Landers and former Mexico captain Monica Gonzalez. The players will embark on the trip today 15 June and play their match either on June 24 or 25.
Lindsey, who played for USA at the 2011 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, said their aim was to raise awareness of the issues women and girls face when playing sport.
“I’m fortunate enough to have had pioneers who came before me, but it’s our responsibility to continue to make strides forward for the generations to come,” she explained.
Various crowd funding pages have been raising money for the mission which will accommodate players, FIFA referees, coaches, a medical team and support crew.
Laura Youngson, Equal Playing Field co-founder, said: “We want to break a record to inspire other women and girls to keep challenging the inequalities in sport.”
In addition to the match, Equal Playing Field will also use the momentum to deliver football training clinics in up to 17 countries across five continents in existing local clubs, teams, organisations, charities and NGOs that focus on sports development, education, health and empowerment for women, directly reaching 1500 girls and women.