natashaNatasha Staniszewski is living proof that a dream career is never too far out of reach. As the current co-host for TSN’s SportsCentre in Toronto, Edmonton-born Natasha has a passion for sport and a bubbly on-air personality that has made her a household name for sports fans throughout the country. But it all began, oddly enough, with a degree in business from the University of Alberta.

I was born and raised in Edmonton and I went to the U of A and go a business degree because it seemed the smart thing to do, says Natasha. I worked for a few years but I wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing. I always thought about being a sports broadcaster but I’d never ready considered it – it seemed like a crazy thing to try. But at that time, I just thought “Why not?”

At the age of 26, Natasha made the choice to pursue her dream job an attended NAIT’s two-year Radio and Television Diploma program. After graduating, she worked her way through small-town Saskatchewan for three years, gaining television broadcast experience in a number of newsrooms.

Natasha began  her career as a sports reporter at CTV Prince Albert. In 2007, she relocated to CTV Saskatoon as the station’s sports anchor and reporter covering the WHL and university athletics.

 I slept on an air mattress for two years in Saskatchewan, moving from small town to small town to small town, because you never knew where you were going to go.

Sports broadcasting had always been Natasha’s goal. When she was offered a job covering the Edmonton Oilers and Eskimos for CTV Edmonton in 2009, she jumped at the chance.

Moving back to Edmonton was kind of bittersweet,” says Natasha. When I first went to school, my goal at the time was just to get to Edmonton and work at CTV or Global. It was to get back to the big city and cover the Eskimos or the Oilers…the teams I’d watched growing up. But I made some really good friends in Saskatoon, when the job in Edmonton came up, I was so excited on the one hand but it was really hard to leave so many great friends at the same time.

While in Edmonton, Natasha covered the teams of her childhood, including reporting for the 2010 Grey Cup for CTV. She wasn’t disappointed in the city’s fervent sports culture.

I found sports media in Edmonton to be really hard-core. They on their team 24/7. Edmonton is a great place to cover sports.

After a year at CTV Edmonton, Natasha was offered the change to cover a maternity leave position at TSN in Toronto – a position that soon grew into a full-fledged career. Natasha now co-hosts SportsCentre along with Kate Beirness, first ever all-female anchor team the channel’s flagship highlight program that goes live at 1 a.m. and runs throughout the morning. It’s TSN’s highest-profile slot,

Natasha is known to be personable yet cautious, knowledgeable but modest. When Beirness explains that Staniszewski is an excellent baker, “like the greatest baker in the newsroom,” Staniszewski responds humbly, “I’m not that good.” She does this often when compliments come her way. It’s a deflective trait you find in certain athletes (in high school, she helped her volleyball team reach Alberta’s provincial championships) who don’t want to let their success go to their heads. She’s more prone to stand back and observe and analyze before wading in.

I think viewers like it when you show a little personality. I think they like that I’m an Oilers fan. I think that they love that Kate’s a Bears fan. So every once in a while you’ve got to let that out.” Adding: “We’re broadcasters, but we’re fans. Otherwise we wouldn’t be doing this.

Beirness and Staniszewski have reached one of the few peaks in the mountain range of sports broadcasting. Being relatively young and already at the top, what does the future hold?

This is my dream job right now,” she says. I have no plans or aspirations to go anywhere else. Take it day by day and be grateful for having it, because God knows things can change really fast.”

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