Wrestle Like A Girl Fourth Annual Gala

The Art of Wrestling

The 2019 Wrestle Like a Girl Gala Committee is delighted to invite you to our 4th Annual Gala in Washington, D.C. Please join us to celebrate a year of remarkable growth in women's wrestling. This five-star evening surrounded by Team USA athletes, world leaders, thought-leaders, stakeholders and advocates also includes:

  • Plated dinner
  • Entertainment - Darcy Ataman - Musician and founder of Make Music Matter, an organization dedicated to bringing music therapy to survivors of conflict and trauma; Aaliyah Rose - Recording artist 
  • Afsoon Johnson Courage Award – Wrestle Like a Girl will award a courageous female wrestler with support from Tiffany and Co.
  • Auction – “Wrestler Girl”, an iconic painting from esteemed D.C. artist Maggie O’Neil, will be on display and for auction at the gala.

Wrestle To Become Leaders

Mr. David Grevemberg, C.B.E., CEO of the Commonwealth Games and President of the Board for Wrestle Like A Girl.

David is CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) comprised of 71 countries and territories, the organization responsible for the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games, and for delivering on the vision of the Commonwealth Sports Movement: to build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally by inspiring Commonwealth Athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all Commonwealth Citizens through Sport.

Previously, David was Chief Executive of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee (Glasgow 2014 Limited), with ultimate managerial responsibility for the organization’s successful preparation and staging of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He was the chief liaison with national and local government and many other stakeholders and played a leadership role developing and innovating a variety of sport, commercial, cultural, community engagement, corporate social responsibility and legacy programs.


Prior, David was the Executive Director of Sport and International Federation Relations at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) headquartered in Bonn, Germany. David, a former collegiate wrestler, is a visionary leader who advocates for equality, equal access and opportunity for all.


Wrestle To Become Resilient

Sara McMann, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and UFC Fighter


Sara McMann made history becoming the first woman and only woman to earn an Olympic Silver Medal in Women’s Wrestling in the 2004 Olympic Games. A pioneer in combative sports for women, Sara was among the first handful of women to be signed to the UFC roster in 2013. This title contender is currently ranked 8th in the world of mixed martial arts in the Bantamweight category. She has also earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling alongside her athletic endeavors.


These accomplishments were earned amongst tremendous personal tragedy. At 18 years old, in her first year of college, she was informed that her only brother who was missing for over 2 months and had been murdered. The impact of this loss was exacerbated due to having to wait 5 years for a conviction. During the same year, Sara was in a car accident that killed her fiancé́. Despite her extreme grief and depression, she persisted in her focus and determination to turn tragedy into triumph. She pursued Mental Health Counseling to help others who have to navigate the unseen pain and struggles that life presents. Featured in ESPN magazine and Courage in Sports to share her story, Sara speaks to all walks of life about the highs and lows of her life. 


She uses her incredible life experiences to share a message of hope and resilience to high school, college, and adult audiences. Her unrelenting spirit is contagious and inspiring to all who learn the intimate struggles she has overcome.      


Sally Roberts, 2x World Bronze Medalist, Combat Veteran in Special Operations, and Founder and Executive Director of Wrestle Like A Girl, Inc.


Wrestle To Build Nations 

Sally Roberts is a former elite wrestler, Army soldier, & founder of Wrestle Like A Girl®, a nonprofit organization.


Sally was a resident at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for eight years during which she was a 3-time national champion, 2003 World Cup Champion, 2003 & 2005 World Bronze Medalist, and a 2008 Olympic Alternate. She served 6-years in the Army serving as a Special Operations soldier where she volunteered for deployment in Afghanistan and was also a member of the Army’s prestigious World Class Athlete Program. She represented both the U.S. Army and Team USA in elite athletic competitions.


In 2016, Sally founded the nonprofit organization Wrestle Like A Girl® on the premise that girls can do anything and that through sport can realize their full potential.

Sally received the 2016 Women in Sport Award on behalf of United World Wrestling and the International Olympic Committee. Sally spoke at the United Nations ‘Global Good’ summit and participated in the Global Goals World Cup activist soccer tournament on Team Sports Equality Enforcers promoting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Sally and Wrestle Like A Girl was featured on Megyn Kelly’s Today show. In 2019 Sally was named USA Wrestling ‘Women of the Year’ and recognized with the IOC ‘Women In Sport’ achievement diploma. 


2019 Afsoon R. Johnson Courage Award Recipient

Sponsored by LiUNA and supported by Tiffany and Co.


The Afsoon Roshanzamir Johnston Courage Award honors athletes who have to use immense personal courage to be able to participate or compete in sports, even when participation could put them at great risk. The award celebrates athletes who choose to stand up for what is right, and who do what is right, rather than what is easy.