SPORT: England footie ace Rachel Unitt launches crowdfunding drive to break mountain match world record
Former Lionness Rachel Unitt, who played for Notts County, Everton and Wolves during her career, has started a GoFundMe page to organise a football match to try to break the world record for the highest altitude match ever played.
Unitt from Walsall, has joined a 30 women squad of players from more than 20 countries who will play a 90-minute game, at 18,871 feet — almost 2 kilometres higher than Bolivia’s national stadium, which is the highest in the world.
The international squad organised in partnership with Equal Playing Field, is made up of professionals, national team players and competitive amateurs from countries including: Afghanistan, Argentina, France, Jordan, Sweden, South Africa, and Tanzania.
If they raise the £5,000 through crowdfunding on GoFundMe, the will set out to Tanzania for the big game scheduled for June 24.
The world record attempt seeks to 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.
Ms 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.
“Football has taught me so much: determination, dedication, teamwork and commitment. I have dealt with many challenges and barriers throughout my career, negative stereotypes, adversity, inequality and injuries but I have never let them get in the way.
“We want to break this world record to inspire women and girls over the world, no matter what barriers or challenges you may face, follow your dreams and never give up. Anything is possible.”
Co-organiser, Maggie Murphy, 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.”