Fighting Inequality at 19,000 ft.

Erin Blankenship CdeP 2000 presents on a record-breaking initiative.
On October 24, Erin Blankenship CdeP 2000 gave a presentation to the Thacher community about the exciting work she’s been doing with the organization she co-founded, Equal Playing Field (EPF), a grassroots, non-profit global initiative that aims to challenge gender inequality in sports and promote sports development for girls and women around the world. Specifically, she focused on EPF’s most recent accomplishment, in which they fielded two teams of women from more than 20 countries to play a Guinness World Record-breaking 90-minute soccer match atop Mount Kilimanjaro. At 19,000 feet, it was the highest-elevation game ever played—something that had never before been attempted.

Erin, who is also a regional adviser on conflict and security for humanitarian organizations in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, was joined at Thacher by coach Kim Smith, player Sasha Andrews, and documentary filmmaker Tamara Rosenfeld, all of whom were part of EPF’s record-breaking achievement. Smith is a former U.S. National Team soccer player, a former professional player in Japan and Germany, and the current women’s soccer coach at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles and a mentor at the Varsity Student Institute. Andrews was a bronze medalist with Canada’s national women’s soccer team, a World Cup and Pan-American Games athlete, and a professional player in Iceland, Australia, and the U.S. She’s currently a coach and elite performance trainer in Los Angeles. Rosenfeld is an Emmy Award-winner and director of the EPF feature film Unmatched.

All in all, it was an inspiring and enlightening evening for everyone in the audience!

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