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Hey FIFA Fans, These Women Played Soccer on Top of Kilimanjaro

Equal Playing Field on Kilimanjaro in 2017

In June 2017, two teams of female soccer players climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and played the highest altitude game of football, of any gender, ever.

It was a world record and in 2018, they played a game at the Dead Sea for another world record.

The games were organized by Equal Playing Field (EPF), a grassroots, non-profit initiative to challenge gender inequality in sport and to promote sports development for girls and women globally, especially in marginalised country contexts.

Specifically it aims to ensure opportunity, equality and respect for girls and women in sport and in life, and does this through a combination of high-profile challenges, implementing grassroots training and empowerment programmes through local and international partnerships, and through its global communications and advocacy platform.

Through its players, coaches, referees, mentors and partners so far EPF has representation in 29 countries on six continents, all dedicated to elevating the conversation around women in sport and impacting genuine change at the elite and grassroots levels.

Thirty-two female international pros, competitive amateurs and graduates of sports charities from more than 20 countries traveled to Tanzania and summited Mount Kilimanjaro to play the world record highest elevation regulation game in history.

More than 1.75 kilometres higher than the world’s highest professional stadium and higher even than Everest Base Camp, it was an 11-a-side, full-field, FIFA standard match on a volcanic ash pitch at 5,714 metres.

The teams included World Cup, Champions League, and Olympic pros, more than 10 women’s national team players, and ages ranging from 15 to 55 years old.

The trip also included games against local Tanzanian women’s teams, and launched EPF’s Altitude Football project with football clinics in Tanzania and South Africa.

To read more about the teams and the game visit here.

In 2018, with the support of Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and the Asia Football Development Project, EPF travelled across Jordan and several countries in Asia.

They supported the development of local women’s football, delivering a message of inclusivity and equality, and helped to expand the reach of the AFC Asian Women’s Cup across the continent.

It ended with the lowest soccer game ever, held at the Dead Sea, for a second world record. For more on EPF visit here.

The #JordanQuest is over, but its legacy lives on through our players, support crew, the children we worked with, the communities whom embraced us, the guides who looked after us, our partners and sponsors and the lives we touched worldwide. Hear some of the stories here. “The true legacy of these two weeks can be found in the pitch (at the Dead Sea) that will now provide a safe space for children in Ghor to play, in the women who were part of the EPF squad who learnt from this experience and will now take that energy, passion and knowledge back to their countries and people, and in the almost 700 girls with whom we worked over the four coaching clinics who will continue to engage with this beautiful game and become the future leaders in sport all because of one experience they had with 40 women from across the world in just two hours. On a personal note, this experience was one that I will cherish forever…I have returned with a renewed focus on the power of the sport for development movement to contribute to the development of people and communities – the future truly lies here. Since the trip, the pace of movement in relation to women and girls’ empowerment through football is rapid and those who were a part of the Jordan Quest are playing a vital role in this.” -Rimla from England Photo Credit: Dana Rösiger, Rimla Akhtar & Laura Youngson #equalplayingfield #womenfootball #rolemodel #shero #jordan #girlempowerment #femaleempowerment

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