Youth fitness boxing club Pantera Camp pops up in East Oakland. This Lataina-run boxing and fitness program for kids is based out of a tent in San Antonio Park.
Dates: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon.
Price: Free for youth. Adults pay a small donation.
Where: San Antonio Park in East Oakland.
Dalia “La Pantera” Gomez takes over one of the tennis courts at San Antonio Park in East Oakland to run an outdoor boxing camp for children.
Gomez, originally from Oxnard, moved to Oakland eight years ago. In 2004, she launched Vertical Skillz, a nonprofit that builds young people’s physical, mental, and character strength. Physical training is a big part of Gomez’s program.
At the current camp, she is mentoring 16 kids, including four formerly-incarcerated youth.
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How she started!
In 2012, Gomez moved to Oakland to work at a boxing gym and run a youth program from one before, in Santa Rosa.
“I moved to Oakland with $50 in my pocket,” she said. At the same time, Gomez was continuing her own boxing career, winning several tournaments including the California Golden Gloves tournament, Puerto Rico vs. California championship, and the Beautiful Brawlers championship.
Even as her own boxing career advanced, Gomez knew she wanted to continue helping youth, and hoped to one day start her own boxing camp. The opportunity presented itself at San Antonio Park.
“I was living right there on 21st Avenue and Sonoma Way, right by the park,” Gomez said. Her view of San Antonio Park—neglected by the city but a popular hangout among neighbors—gave her a vision. “I decided that I wanted to do more with Vertical Skillz, do more things for the community,” she said. “I started training kids and adults at the park and at the lake.”