Emily SantiAnna
Category: 2022 College Winner

Emily SantiAnna

You won’t find her name in history books, but the name Pam Mobley is well known in the South Carolina gymnastics community, as she positively impacted hundreds of young girls!

Although Pam Mobley was never a gymnast herself, she played basketball, volleyball and softball and went on to play softball at the collegiate level. “Miss Pam,” as her gymnasts called her, began her career in gymnastics at Florence Gymnastics as an instructor. Over the years, she furthered her knowledge and worked her way up to program coordinator/head coach, a position that she held for over 16 years, before retiring in 2016. She also was an accomplished South Carolina gymnastics judge!

Gymnastics skills increase in difficulty as you get to the higher competitive levels. To master the skills required, you must be in the gym for several hours a day, four to five days a week. This level of commitment meant that sometimes I would spend more time with Miss Pam than I would with my parents! And when your coach is as amazing as Pam Mobley, the rewards are never- ending.

Miss Pam taught us so much more than just the sport of gymnastics. She taught us to be RESPECTFUL, to never argue with teammates, explaining that we didn’t have to like each other, but we had to respect one another.

DEDICATION. Miss Pam expected her gymnasts to show up for practice and work hard, and not to miss competitions unless you were sick!

Miss Pam encouraged us to be SMART, emphasizing the importance of keeping up with our homework and studying, and we had to show her our report cards!

Leading by example, Miss Pam encouraged us to be KIND AND LOVING! She knew each of her gymnasts so well, some of us needed more firm instructions, and others benefited more from Miss Pam’s loving tone. Many of us considered Miss Pam to be our second mom.

Most importantly, Miss Pam made sure we had FUN! She danced with us, made homemade ice cream, taught us crafts and she was so creative with balloons! She joked around, had nicknames for us (mine was Scooter), and we listened to music during practice.

While coordinating a gymnastics program, coaching gymnasts, and judging at competitions, Pam Mobley was also battling cancer. She showed such courage, never complained, rarely took days off, always had a smile on her face, and never gave up hope. Miss Pam fought valiantly for over ten years, but sadly, she lost her battle in September of 2016.

I’m now a junior at Clemson University, majoring in special education, minoring in athletic leadership. Soon, I will be teaching young children, and I can’t wait! My amazing coach, mentor and second mom, Pam Mobley, will live on through me. All of my best personality traits truly come from the time I spent with Miss Pam. I will educate my students, encourage them to work hard, love hard, to be kind and courageous and to sing and dance every chance they get!