One Step Beyond
Ep. 29: Equal Playing Field, second half
In this second half of our interview with Erin Blankenship, a former professional football player in leagues around the world and the co-founder of Equal Playing Field, we talk more about the initiative’s all-female, full-size pitch, full length football match on top of Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest ever played). We then learn about the challenges and triumphs of its second record-breaking game, the lowest played on earth following a 100km hike down to Jordan’s Dead Sea, 500m below sea level. Erin also talks about how Equal Playing Field supports specific grass roots initiatives for women’s engagement in football all around the world, especially in underserved countries and communities, and concludes by considering the great strides the women’s game has taken in recent years – and the many challenges it still faces. All discussed with considerable humor – Equal Playing Field believes in doing the crazy, after all.
In addition, Tony talks about discovering new outdoors landscapes in his old stomping ground of Yorkshire, after returning from his first international journey since before the pandemic. The joys of new travel adventures can, he figures, be found surprisingly close to home.
Links to stories mentioned in this episode:
Photos from Equal Playing Field’s record-breaking Dead Sead hike and match.
The Guardian on the English FA paying women the same performance pay as men.
The FA History on women’s football in England, including the many years it was “banned”.
The BBC on Lewes FC as the first club team in the UK to pay its female players the same as its males.
KNVB on how Holland’s success in the 2017 WEuros boosted the women’s game in that country.
KNVB on women’s football internationally.
The Guardian from Nov 2018 breaking the story of the sexual, physical and emotional abuse that plagued members of the Afghanistan women’s team.
The Guardian from July 2020 on the life ban subsequently meted out by FIFA on the Afghan football federation’s male president.
The New York Times on the U.S. Women’s Team’s Equal Pay Dispute with U.S. Soccer
Equal Playing Field web site
BeInSports Equal Playing Field documentary about the Kili climb
Equal Playing Field YouTube channel (many short clips about programmes/camps/World Records)
Equal Playing Field Instagram
Equal Playing Field Facebook
Equal Playing Field Twitter
Erin Blankenship Instagram
Laura Youngson Instagram
Ida Sports website
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