Creative Champions

The AthletesCAN Creative Champions are a collection of students, young professionals and national team athletes with a passion for and experience in original content production who will become a voice for our members. Each Creative Champion will help to tell the stories of how the organization has played a significant advocacy role in their respective sport journeys, thereby strengthening athlete activism and empowerment across the country.

Anthony Bruno

Anthony is a graduate of Centennial College’s Sports Journalism Program and served as AthletesCAN’s Marketing & Communications Intern during the Summer of 2022. He has written for Centennial’s in-house media outlet, the Toronto Observer, where he covered the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and was mentored by TSN and Sportsnet personalities. Anthony also holds a digital marketing certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Photo - Ava Iannou

Ava Iannou

Ava Iannou is a graduate of Brock University’s Sport Management program (with Honours), and a former member of the Badgers varsity golf team. She served as the Marketing and Communications Intern with AthletesCAN for Summer 2023.  With a bilingual skillset, Iannou’s experience in the Canadian Sport System includes working as an Official Languages Lead for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. She has also held various roles in social media marketing and communications for the Brock Badgers, as well as game operations for the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Kayla Pantas Creative Champions

Kayla Pantas

Kayla Pantas is the founder of The Kickout Media, a startup multimedia company focused on basketball athletes, coaches and team success using digital and broadcast platforms. She started her journey in media when she discovered her passion with cameras, after graduating from the Media Communications program at Humber College, followed by the Sports Journalism program at Centennial College. Kayla has worked as a freelance content creator and digital media journalist for most of her career, including with Sportsnet, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL), Canletes, JUEL of Ontario, and many other sports organizations within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). She believes that there should be an opportunity for everyone to tell their story in sport. 

Ryan Watson

Ryan is currently an associate producer at Sportsnet. He received his graduate diploma in Sports Journalism Program from Centennial College in Toronto, after completing the Communications and Cultural Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal. He is also a member of the Canadian Para 7-aside National Soccer Team.

Ryan Zupancic

Ryan is a performance and mindset coach at Zupi Performance, working with Iindividuals and athletes to improve their emotional fitness and wellbeing in order to optimize performance in sports and in life. Bringing his professional background to storytelling, Ryan also hosts the Zupi Autotelic Mindset Podcast, telling the stories of national teams athletes and their own performance mindset. Previously, Ryan played U SPORTS Hockey while completing his Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ont.