We’re impressed with Kat Stefankiewicz not just because she brings out the inner sports fan in us, but because she also has a way of tapping into her own vulnerabilities, bringing them to the surface, and saying what’s on all of our minds. You can find Kat cheering on the Toronto Raptors as an in-game host during the NBA season or riding to the beat as a spin instructor at Toronto’s Spokehaüs.
PN: Hey Kat, what does your day-to-day look like?
KS: Every day is a different beast and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m a creative nerd at heart, a performer by trade, and a storyteller by what the world has called me to do. I’m a host and emcee on TV and live events, a spin instructor, and dabble in the digital media field as a personality and social influencer.
I have a restless soul and don’t believe you should be limited to doing only one thing for the rest of your life because passions are abundant, your desires change, and life is too short, so don’t make it suck.
PN: How did you get involved in sports? When did your love for it grow?
KS: Sports have always been in my life. Growing up, my sister and I were competitive dancers. I played baseball, my brother played rep hockey, and my Dad was a referee and coached us both. I was that kid who was always running around the neighbourhood playing some sport or doing some activity. It’s wild that my two childhood passions of sport and performance came to fruition in a career many years later. I’m grateful for it every day.
PN: How do you deal with the pressure of having to be on with 20,000 spectators watching and listening?
KS: It’s funny because I’m an introverted extrovert, but when the camera turns on, it’s a comfort zone. I forget about the chaos surrounding me and have learned to find that zone where everything feels effortless and fun. It did take a lot of experience to be able to tap into it every day. I get a high from the thrill of the live show and have learned to trust my talent to be able to deliver successfully.
PN: What ignites your fire?
KS: I’m motivated by being given opportunities that not everyone gets. I also have a ‘fighter-type’ personality that caters to my entrepreneurial lifestyle. I’ve always been a storyteller; it started as a dancer at six-years-old and now I speak into a microphone. I love being able to bring an a–ha! moment, laugh or light to someone’s day. My passions are numerous but are all tied by sports and performance. I’m a runner, spin instructor, and yoga enthusiast who is obsessed with the great outdoors, food, travel, and adventure.
PN: You’re mostly based in Toronto. What do you love the most about the city?
KS: Toronto is the whole world in one place. As someone passionate about travel, food, and culture, it’s pretty cool to tour a few countries on a short streetcar ride. It’s a city full of authentic energy and genuine pride for what it offers. It’s a city that is welcoming and supportive of the differences and similarities between people and their cultures. I get to participate in most of my passions all in one place, with the entertainment district, parks, and beaches moments away from each other. I adore this city.
PN: We love your Instagram posts because they’re real. Was it hard for you to be vulnerable on a public space like Instagram?
KS: It definitely gets easier with time and I believe this comes with personal growth. Since we’re all doing it together, why not remind others that both the highs and lows are powerful moments? The words I receive from others of gratitude for what I share is what keeps me sharing. I still have my moments of ill confidence when it comes to exposing my soul, but it honestly just feels right. Being known for my authentic character is something that I am proud of and I promise to keep it real, always.
PN: How has your personal brand evolved over the years?
KS: Being in the public spotlight, I’ve really taken advantage of being a social influencer over the last few years to bring awareness to brands and causes that I support. It’s a high for me to connect with people over relative matters. As you grow, life experiences shape you as a person and your folder of ‘life advice’ expands. The passions and people you held close to your heart ten years back transform and fade. What you are able to offer to the world changes. I think my personal brand is more than the professional experiences attached to it. I know who I am as a woman and it’s developed into sharing tales of transformation in this crazy little thing called life.
PN: You’ve talked openly about combating your low lows. When you’re not at your most productive, or you’ve hit a snag, what are some things you do to overcome the fear/doubt?
KS: Spending time alone and out of the public spotlight is something I value. I consider myself an introverted extrovert, so giving into days when I just don’t have it in me, physically, mentally, and creatively without guilt, helps me conquer obstacles. Literally sitting on my couch in my pj’s with a coffee and my journal, and my phone in the other room. Running is my other therapy; a long run with nature and good music is a cleanse for me.
PN: Favourite moments from your work with the Toronto Raptors?
KS: Professionally, some of my highs have been contributing to All Star weekend for the past three seasons as an in-game host. When the All Star game came to Toronto, being a part of such a historic moment for the city was both surreal and humbling. I was very proud to show off how we do things in Toronto and to showcase not only our beautiful city but the people and culture we are known for. There were a lot of ‘WOW’ moments. This was a show that I watched in awe from my couch for years, and here I was being able to contribute to the spectacle. It was magical and a lot of hard work. It was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my journey so far. On more of a personal level, having the opportunity to engage with the passionate fans, whose energy is addictive, who have turned into family. I look forward to that at every game and event.
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