Growing up, many young girls may take up sports and find a real passion and talent for the games they choose. Unfortunately, as they age and go through school, many of these young girls quit their teams because they might not believe that being an athlete is the role they should play in society.
As a response to the lack of support for women in the sports field, the Equal Playing Field movement was created. The movement aims to challenge the norms and fight for equality in the sports field through women’s representation for young girls who love to play.
The movement has a goal to “challenge the social norms for girls and women in sport, what kind of opportunities are available, the acceptance and respect they earn as athletes and individuals, and what they or anyone else thinks they can achieve.”
The movement is largely about supporting women in sports, but Equal Playing Field is also concerned with supporting women in society in general. Another goal of the movement is to “acknowledge the systematic, structured inequality that girls and women face…in most aspects of their lives, be it access to a classroom or respect in a boardroom….”
Equal Playing Field claims that “Women’s sport remains under-represented, under-supported and undervalued. In many cultures, women are forbidden from playing sport at all. We are committed to challenging these norms and we are going to start by breaking a World Record….”
This month, June 2017, a group incredible women’s soccer players from 24 different countries around the world will join together, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and play the highest elevation soccer match, or football game as the movement refers to it. This high-altitude game will be record-breaking and have a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
According to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, the players who will be featured in this initiative include “US National Lori Lindsey, former Canadian National Sasha Andrews, former German World Cup star Petra Landers, former Afghan National captain Zahra Mahmoodi, former FIFA World Cup referee Jacqui Hurford…” to name a few.
Former soccer player Amirose Eisenbach spoke to Smart Girls about how these players were selected. “We have 24 different countries represented by these players. Some from countries where women are traditionally not allowed to play, where they’ve had to sneak on buses in the middle of the night.”
When the soccer game concludes, Eisenbach will put the finishing touches on a documentary she has been working on along with director Tamara Rosenfeld about the lives of female athletes. Speaking of the documentary, Eisenbach said “This is definitely about social impact…Especially now at a time of such division, we definitely want to inspire and elevate people.”
Equal Playing Field also has plans after the record-breaking soccer match. For a week, the movement will host soccer training clinics for women and young girls around the world, all in an effort to achieve equal representation and respect for girls in sports.
With the sweeping efforts made by Equal Playing Field, Amirose Eisenbach, and many others, hopefully those little girls with immense talent and passion for their after-school sports will continue to play throughout the years with more representation and opportunities than those who came before them.
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