“I think sports gave me the first place where this awkward girl could feel comfortable in my own skin. I think that’s true for a lot of women - sports gives you a part of your life where you can work at something and you look in the mirror and you like that person.”
— Teri McKeever

Join us at the 2018 Women's Wrestling Festival!


 

"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
– Maya Angelou

About

Wrestle Like A Girl was founded in mid-2016 by Sally Roberts, a U.S. Army combat veteran and 2x World Bronze Medalist in women’s wrestling on the premise that girls and women across the United States should be afforded opportunities to participate in the sport and that they can do anything. 

MISSION - The mission of Wrestle Like a Girl is to empower girls and women through the sport of wrestling to become leaders in life.

VISION - Our vision is to increase the opportunities for girls and women, who either wrestle, want to wrestle, or simply want to participate in a movement to own their personal space, own their voice and own their sense of self.

VIEW - Our view is that girls can do anything - especially wrestle. When we talk about wrestling, the benefits that participants get out of this sport are profound. Our impact is helping girls and young women learn where their self-confidence is, learn what resilience means, learn about healthy choices both physically and mentally, and learn how to dig deep within themselves so that they can become whoever, whatever they want to be both on and off the mat. We work to Empower, Advocate, Educate, Support and Grow.

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Empowerment
Camps & Clinics

Empowerment camps and clinics are more than just wrestling clinics; they work to develop the total athlete by educating wrestlers on the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, and the importance and application of sport psychology. Empowerment Camps and Clinics employ some of the nations best women’s wrestling clinicians to teach wrestling techniques. And utilizing the Wrestle Like A Girl handbook, they will share their personal stories and knowledge of how nutrition, hydration and sport psychology played into their successful careers. 

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High School Wrestling
Support & Initiatives

The Wrestle Like A Girl organization has a strong commitment to the growth and development of female wrestling in the United States by providing opportunities to wrestle at the high school level. Wrestle Like A Girl supports the start-up of new high school wrestling programs and advocates to increase the number of sanctioned girls high school state tournaments across the United States. Wrestle Like A Girl is proud to collaborate with other organizations and networks to grow female wrestling.  

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Collegiate Wrestling
Support & Initiatives

Wrestle Like Girl is currently working in collaboration with other agencys and organizations to determine the most effective way to bring women’s wrestling to the NCAA.

BOARD MEMBERS

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Sally Roberts - FOUNDER and Executive Director

Sally is a former elite wrestler, a former combat veteran and sport psychology consultant who founded Wrestle Like A Girl™ on the premise that girls can do anything and that through sport, they can realize their full potential.

She is living proof that girls can indeed do anything as she was the youngest of three children growing up and the first in her family to graduate high school, graduate college and earn an advanced degree. Sally was a resident at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for eight years during which time she was a 3-time national champion, 2003 World Cup Champion, 2003 & 2005 World Bronze Medalist and a 2008 Olympic Alternate. She served six years in the Army as a Special Operations soldier where she volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan. She was also a member of the Army’s prestigious World Class Athlete Program and represented both the U.S. Army and Team USA in elite athletic competitions. 

Sally received the 2016 Women in Sport Award on behalf of United World Wrestling and the International Olympic Committee. She is a board member of USA Wrestling, the United States Olympic Committee Youth Development Working Group and the Association for Applied Sports Psychology. She is an athlete ambassador for TrueSport, the grassroots organization for the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Sally and Wrestle Like A Girl were recently featured on Megyn Kelly’s Today show.  

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and a Master of Arts degree in Sport and Performance Psychology from University of the Rockies. She has a certification in nutrition from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. When she is not flying around the country for Wrestle Like A Girl, Sally calls Colorado Springs, CO home and in her spare time she likes to hang out with her husband Dennis and their two pups.   


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KATHERINE SHAI - Secretary

Katherine brings her strong passion for developing women’s wrestling with highlighting the capabilities all female athletes exude to WLAG. She was raised in a wrestling family in Half Moon Bay, CA. Her father, Lee Allen, was a 3x Olympian in wrestling, her mother a successful gymnastics coach, and her sister a fellow National Team member. Katherine is a 2x WCWA National Champion, 5x National Team member, 2x 3rd-place finisher at the Olympic Trials, 2008 University World Champion, and multi-time Senior National finalist.

After completing her competitive athletic career, Katherine founded the educational sport platform LuchaFIT for girls and women. Katherine received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Menlo College and is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She resides in Denver, CO with her husband and son.


TELA Bacher - board member

Tela’s passion is helping develop the whole person as they explore athletics and empower all athletes to be the best version of themselves possible. She began her sporting career at Homer High School in Alaska, where she lettered in football and volleyball. In her junior season, she officially joined the high school wrestling team and went on to set her own record as the second female wrestler to ever place in the state wrestling tournament. She is a 2004 Olympian and 3x National Team Member.

Tela is currently the TRAILS Coordinator and Education Specialist at Independent Living Center, providing services to seniors and people and families living with disabilities. She earned her undergraduate in Psychology from Trinity College and her certification in nutrition from the Institute for The Psychology of Eating. Tela homesteads in Homer, AK with her husband and their 3 children.


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Emma Randall - Board Member

Emma is currently the National Women's Freestyle Assistant Coach and was also in the corner for our ladies at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She is also the Developmental National Team coach for USA Wrestling in the Cadet and Junior age divisions. In 2016 she earned her USA Wrestling Gold level coaching certification; the only woman to hold that distinction out of a total of 68 coaches.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Administration with a minor in Sport Psychology and Coaching from Lock Haven University and went on to also earn her Master’s degree in sport science with a concentration in sports psychology. She resides in Colorado Springs, CO.


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Chad shilson - board member

As the MN USA Wrestling/MN STORM Girls' and Women's Director & Coach, Chad is all in when it comes to increasing opportunities for our female wrestlers.  He's also no stranger to hard work as he has completed over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons and is a 15x National Champion in the USA Wrestling Veterans Division. He has been a financial advisor for the past two decades.

Chad is currently a Senior Vice President with RBC Wealth Management. He earned his undergraduate degree from Augsburg College where he also wrestled. Chad resides in Maple Grove, MN and has been married to his wife Margaret for more than 20 years. Their son and daughter are very active in wrestling as well; Tyler competes for the University of Wisconsin and Emily was a silver medalist at the 2017 Women’s World Cadet Championships in Athens, Greece; she was also the first female wrestler to qualify for the MN State Wrestling Tournament AAA.


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Rick Gillit - Treasurer

Rick is happy to utilize his finance and banking background for WLAG. He is dedicated to his community which he shows this through his multiple roles on various non-profit boards including the Atlas Prep School, Citizen Soldiers Connection, Regional Building Department and others. If there is work growing the community and developing youth, Rick can be found there.  

Rick is currently the Director of Sales at D2Xchange. Prior to that Rick held Vice President of Business and Consumer Banking positions at both JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.  He earned his MBA and undergraduate degree from Lee University. In his free time, he enjoys developing his knowledge on cigars. Rick resides in Colorado Springs, CO with his family.

ADVISORY BOARD

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DAVID GREVEMBERG

David has decades of sports administration experience specifically in the disabled athlete realm. Over the course of his career, David has held positions at Disabled Sports, USA; the International Paralympic Committee and Glasgow 2014 Limited, the organizing committee for that year’s Commonwealth Games held in Scotland. A former competitive wrestler, he has also served as a coach, athlete agent, team administrator, consultant and Board member.

He is currently the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the organization responsible for the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and many other initiatives. David earned his Master of Science degree in Sports Administration from Georgia State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Sport Management with a minor in Business from Springfield College. David resides in London, England with his wife and their two children.


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ARNO NIEMAND

Arno is an accomplished wrestler, businessman and veteran having served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1958-60. After his military service he began working for Niemand Industries where he would quickly become President and CEO. He then founded Body Bar Systems in 1990 which sells fitness products worldwide and was the pioneer sponsor of the US Women's National Team that competed in the Olympic Games in 2004. Arno has a lifelong devotion to the sport of wrestling and his efforts have not gone unrecognized. In 2008 he received the FILA Gold Star, the highest award given to an individual by the world governing body of wrestling and in 2009, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame earning the Order of Merit.

Currently Arno is a renowned author with several books including “Miracle On The Mat” which chronicled Cornell College's (Iowa) road to the 1947 NCAA championship. He received his MBA from the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia and his undergraduate degree from Cornell University where he also competed. Besides wrestling, running has been a concurrent passion as Arno was a competitive distance runner for several years. He resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Brenda.


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MILTON SPEID

Milton is an experienced business development and corporate social responsibility professional with extensive capabilities in developing global corporate philanthropy programs and creating strategic philanthropic partnerships. As the son of Jamaican immigrants, Milton has a personal commitment to poverty alleviation and cultivating relationships that maximize resources to achieve the greatest impact.

He is currently the Director of Development-Eastern Region at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Milton received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The University of Hartford where he captained the Men’s Soccer Team. Milton lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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DR. AMANDA STANEC

Amanda grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada where she was an avid soccer player. She is committed to helping people live healthier lives by bringing together the sport, physical education, health and wellness communities in a comprehensive way. A highly published author and curriculum writer, Amanda has led projects on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, the International Olympic Committee, the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, United World Wrestling, NFL Play 60 and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to name a few. She is no stranger to hard work as she is a Boston Marathon (2014) and Ironman Coeur D'Alene (2015) finisher.

She is currently the Owner, Principal Consultant of Move Live Learn which provides contract services in research, curriculum writing, speaking, workshop development and facilitation. She earned her undergraduate degree from St. Francis Xavier University, her Master of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Virginia. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband Jim (who wrestled for Cornell University and was an All-American in 2001) and they are proud parents of three girls: ages 1, 6 and 8. The older girls wrestle for their dad and are excited that Missouri just announced girls wrestling at high school level!


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CLINT WATTENBERG

Clint is no stranger to the wrestling world having competed for Cornell University where he was a three-year captain and ended his collegiate career ranked second all-time for the Big Red in wins (113). He was an EIWA Champion, a 2x NCAA All-American, a competitor in the 2004 Olympic Trials (taking 3rd) and a member of the US Freestyle National Team from 2006-2008. Clint has deep coaching experience spanning more than a decade and across all age levels from returning to his alma mater to the Finger Lakes Wrestling Club to having founded and served as President of the New York Wresting Association for Youth. Clint is also a registered dietician and a certified strength and conditioning specialist.

He is currently the Director of Performance Nutrition at the UFC Performance Institute. Clint earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University and his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Ithaca College. He resides in Las Vegas, NV with his wife Sarah and their children, daughter Payton and son Landon.


STAFF

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SALLY Roberts - founder and Executive Director

Sally is a former elite wrestler, a former combat veteran and sport psychology consultant who founded Wrestle Like A Girl™ on the premise that girls can do anything and that through sport, they can realize their full potential.

She is living proof that girls can indeed do anything as she was the youngest of three children growing up and the first in her family to graduate high school, graduate college and earn an advanced degree. Sally was a resident at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for eight years during which time she was a 3-time national champion, 2003 World Cup Champion, 2003 & 2005 World Bronze Medalist and a 2008 Olympic Alternate. She served six years in the Army as a Special Operations soldier where she volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan. She was also a member of the Army’s prestigious World Class Athlete Program and represented both the U.S. Army and Team USA in elite athletic competitions. 

Sally received the 2016 Women in Sport Award on behalf of United World Wrestling and the International Olympic Committee. She is a board member of USA Wrestling, the United States Olympic Committee Youth Development Working Group and the Association for Applied Sports Psychology. She is an athlete ambassador for TrueSport, the grassroots organization for the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Sally and Wrestle Like A Girl were recently featured on Megyn Kelly’s Today show.  

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and a Master of Arts degree in Sport and Performance Psychology from University of the Rockies. She has a certification in nutrition from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. When she is not flying around the country for Wrestle Like A Girl, Sally calls Colorado Springs, CO home and in her spare time she likes to hang out with her husband Dennis and their two pups.   


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AMY ZIRNEKLIS - DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Amy’s passion for the champion mindset skills learned through sport is a motivator for her career in sports management and international business. As Deputy Director, she supports WLAG in strategy and development. Her drive for empowering youth and increasing opportunities for women in sport has grown organically from her collegiate Division I volleyball experience at Rider University and throughout her professional experience of assisting in managing the Olympic medal winning U.S. Women’s National Road Cycling Team.

Amy is currently a Manager of Athlete Relations at USANA Health Sciences. She earned her MBA in Finance and International Business from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rider University and holds Certificates of International Affairs from NYU and The Law of the Sea from Rhodes Academy of Oceans and Law Policy. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT and is the happy mother of son Kintaro.


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AXA MOLINA – NATIONAL SANCTIONING MANAGER

Axa is from Federal Way, WA where she started wrestling her sophomore year of high school. She was a multi-time state placer before accepting a wrestling scholarship to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. While at Lindenwood she served as a captain, earned All-American honors and qualified for and competed at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. Her passion for advancing Latinas in higher education led her to apply for the Miss Hispanic Seafair Scholarship program for women where she earned the coveted program title. Her role with WLAG is to work with USA Wrestling’s State Sanctioning Task Force and each of the remaining unsanctioned states to get more girls high school wrestling divisions established.

Axa is a former assistant coach at Grays Harbor College where she helped train five All-Americans and one national champion. She earned  her Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training with a minor in nutrition from Lindenwood University. Axa enjoys baking and creating new recipes for loved ones to savor! She lives in Seattle, WA.


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GLENN GORMLEY – COLLEGIATE INITIATIVES

Glenn has deep roots in the sport of wrestling along with the perspective of nearly three decades in the business world. Glenn walked onto the wrestling team for the University of Tennessee before transferring to William & Mary where he would not only compete, but also serve as assistant coach for five years. Right across the street he would then open up the very popular Green Leafe Café from which he has recently retired after 27 years. Glenn’s role with WLAG is to help promote the sport on the college level and achieve Emerging Sport Status with the NCAA (as well as eventual Championship Status). Glenn is a liaison to all facets of the Women's College Wrestling world.

 He recently served as the High School Leadership Academy Director for the National Wrestling Coaches Association, assists the Princeton and Trenton Youth Wrestling Clubs and helped bring women’s wrestling to the 2017 NWCA All Star Classic for the first time in that event’s history. Glenn earned both his MBA and Bachelor of Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. He currently lives in Lancaster, PA.