Meet our #womancrushwednesday, Kat Stefankiewicz!
You’ll know Kat Stefankiewicz as one of Toronto’s most familiar sports personalities, and the in-game host for the Toronto Raptors. Kat found a passion for the spotlight at a young age. She trained as a competitive dancer, and began performing in her youth. From musical theatre to sports, Kat began career with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in 2006 as a member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak. For five years she danced and choreographed those power packed dance numbers sports fans love, even taking on the role of Captain for 3 years. In 2009, Kat was asked to be the host of a new television show called Raptorspace marking the start of her transition into television. In the same year, she joined the NBA TV Canada family as a host and reporter covering the Toronto Raptors, NBA and events within the community. That time on TV is what paved the way for Kat’s current gig as in-game host of the Toronto Raptors as well as producing and hosting a weekly show called The Raptors Rundown and Open Gym Fastbreak for Bell Media.
Kat likes to balance the hustle with the heart, supporting multiple charities including the Canadian Cancer Society, the MS Society of Canada and mental health initiatives. Through her years with the Toronto Raptors, Kat is also heavily involved with the MLSE Foundation which provides backing for the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and funds charities that support kids through sports and recreational programs. A love of athleticism crosses from work into real life. Kat lives an active and healthy lifestyle. She’s also an avid runner, yoga enthusiast, recreational softball player, snowboarder and spin instructor at Toronto’s Spokehaus. Talk about well rounded; Kat is definitely crushworthy. Take a read below!
What is your ideal first date/ what’s the best date you’ve ever been on?
The best dates that I have been on have involved having a plan and then saying, screw the plan! Spontaneity is a turn on, like a road trip to palm springs and having dinner on a mountain 8500ft up! Also, when the guy takes the time to learn a little bit about your interests or passions and sets something up with those in mind, that’s really awesome. My ideal first date would involve something outdoorsy, like paddle boarding or kayaking, having lunch right there on the beach and then heading to the stadium to watch a baseball game. If we aren’t sick of each other yet, it would be cool to continue the conversation over drinks from some rooftop overlooking the city.
What is your instant deal breaker?
Call me old-fashioned (but seriously, feel free to, because I am..) but even though I stand strong on being an independent woman who can take care of herself, a girl is going to love a little chivalry in her life. I was on a date once where I opened every single door for him and he walked through because there was no effort on his part. It was weird. Let’s go 1-for-1 on date door opening if that’s cool with you.
What is the best piece of romance advice you have ever received?
I think that people give up on partnerships too quickly these days. I feel lucky to have parents who are incredible role models when it comes to relationships. I admire the love and strength they have given their 35 year marriage and the support they give their kids through good and bad relationship choices because let’s be honest, there has been a little bit of both! When you commit to someone, your relationship isn’t going to be perfect, that’s silly, but you should be with someone that you want to work through the challenges with. Be open and committed to putting energy into getting through it together. Like a modern day Bonnie & Clyde! That’s the best advice I have been given.
What is the first thing you notice about a potential love interest?
The way they command a room when they walk in so I guess it’s a mix of the confidence and warmth that they give off. Also, their smile which I hope to see a lot of because life without laughter is lame. If they’re willing to be carefree and goofy, that’s attractive too because it means they have a ‘don’t take life too seriously’ side to them. Sign me up for that!
If there was one piece of advice you could give to other men/women out there, what would it be?
You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else. You have to be confidant in what you bring to the world before you can share your awesome attributes and perfectly imperfect perfections (did you get that?) with another human. Be at the point where you can say, ‘I can tackle this life trip alone but it would be so much more fun doing it with you.’