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Aimee Walker Pond Named 2019 National Gymnastics Coach of the Year

By Brett Hart // 2019

has been beating the odds all her life. Completely deaf (and blind in one eye), Aimee first made a name for herself at the age of 14 with a role in the movie, Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, and soon rebranded herself as a competitive gymnast.

She competed at the 1999 Junior Olympic National Championships and 2000 US Classic and went on to compete for UCLA and BYU’s collegiate gymnastics teams where she was a part of UCLA’s 2004 NCAA championship squad under legendary coach and 2018 Greatmats National Gymnastics Coach of the Year finalist Valorie Kondos Field.

After college, she entered the coaching realm and was recently named the 2019 Greatmats National Gymnastics Coach of the Year as a coach for Champions Sports Center in Lehi, Utah.

“I was ecstatic when I found out about the nomination,” Aimee said. “I have worked for many years trying to build and grow a gym where the environment in the gym is inspiring for the kids that come.”

That spirit is at the heart of the award she just received as the Greatmats National Gymnastics Coach of the Year award is designed to honor those who have made a positive impact on their community and serve as an inspiration to others.

Not only has she inspired others but the support she has received from her community has inspired her in return.

“The community support has truly been amazing,” she said. “The kids in the gym, their families, my family and friends and the community have rallied in such an incredible show of support for me and our gym. I am so grateful to them.”

That support generated more than 10,000 votes in the annual contest, making up more than 42 percent of the total votes to edge out Donna Foudy of Aeon Fitness & Gymnastics in Hillsdale, New Jersey.

It’s clear that her support is a result of more than just what she does for her students in the gym. It’s also due in part, to her community outreach efforts.

“Some of the things I love the most are serving and helping people, especially kids, improve their lives,” Aimee said.

In addition to providing unprecedented access to the deaf and disabled at her gym, Aimee also can be found giving motivational speeches at churches as well as professional summits and conferences. She focuses on overcoming challenges with faith and perseverance without excuses.

“As a coach, it's really the everyday things that are the big accomplishments,” Aimee says. “I love the kids I work with. I love being able to be part of helping them grow and realize that they can do hard things, that things they thought were not possible, are possible. I love to help and inspire them.”
Aimee Walker Pond
Champions Sports Center
Lehi UT 84043
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