Rachel Unitt launches fundraising drive to get her to top of Mt Kilimanjaro to play 90-minute match, calling for an equal playing field for all women and girls in sport.
Former Lionness Rachel Unitt, who played for Notts County, Everton and Wolves during her career, has joined an international 30 women squad to try to break the world record for the highest altitude football match ever played. The women will play a full 90-minute game, officiated by female FIFA accredited referees just below the Summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, almost 2 kilometres higher than the highest stadium in the world. A documentary team and TV crew will join the women as they climb the mountain. The international squad, is composed of professionals, national team players and competitive amateurs from more than 20 countries, as diverse as Afghanistan, Argentina, France, Jordan, Sweden, South Africa, and Tanzania but still seek final funds to make sure it can take place in one month’s time.
Should the squad raise the funds required, the world record game scheduled for June 24 during UK Women in Sport Week, will draw attention to the daily discrimination faced by women seeking to play, compete, coach or work in football and raise the profile of inspirational female sporting role models in the media.
Unitt said “Every day women face many small mountains whether at grassroots or elite level. Unfortunately, many drop out too early because the support, the investment and the visibility is lacking. We want to climb this one huge mountain, to inspire women and girls over the world. We want them to know that no matter the barriers or challenges they may face they should never give up. Anything is possible.”
Maggie Murphy, co-organiser of the record breaking feat, also from the UK said “We are delighted to have Rachel join our squad. All our players, whether from the US, Tanzania or Afghanistan have faced many challenges throughout their lives – just to play the game they love. Some challenges may be more extreme than others, but the playing field is far from equal for all women. Playing football should not have to be a dream and no girl should miss out because of her gender.”
In taking on this world record attempt, Unitt joins two time Olympian and World Cup Winner Lori Lindsey (USA) former Mexico women’s team captain Monica Gonzalez, Egyptian player of the year 2011 Esraa Awad, South African record goal scorer Portia Modise, Sandrine Dusang and Julie Soyer (France), Zahra Mahmoodi and Hajar Abufazl (Afghanistan), former Fulham player Deena Rahman (Bahrain), and other pro or competitive amateurs and FIFA accredited referees from Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Nepal, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. Other UK based players include organiser Maggie Murphy (Camden Town FC), Katie Donegan (Basingstoke Town LFC) and Nikki Riley and Lisa Clutterbuck (South London WFC).
Equal Playing Field is partnering with Football for Peace in the lead up to the record breaking attempt as well as through a series of global clinics that will take place once the attempt has been completed.
To watch the film trailer and support the world record attempt, please visit https://startsomegood.com/projects/equalplayingfield
To support Rachel Unitt’s participation: https://www.gofundme.com/rachels-record-breaking-challenge?rcid=e158f77b3d7f4fc4985bd558840a5fc7
Maggie Murphy, Communications Lead +44 751 7707 565 | firstname.lastname@example.org