It started with a simple question: “Do you want to be a Stem Cell Shinny-er?” And a simple answer: “Yes, of course!
I posted a team profile online, sent a few emails and recruited some friends for the game. Then we gathered on a Sunday afternoon to play some shinny. It was a beautiful day, perfect for street hockey.
In line with tradition, we started out by singing “O Canada”. Then it was GAME ON!
We decided to play shinny beginners against shinny experts with a special referee keeping an eye on the game. To distinguish between the two teams we used different Canadian Stem Cell Foundation buttons and stickers — we ended so covered in different colours it looked like we had some sort of stem cell fever!
Given that some of us had never seen a hockey stick before in our lives, we set up a brief lesson with the experts showing the beginners how to handle a stick, and what NOT to do with a stick.
But it was all in vain — the game turned out to be a funny mix of hockey and soccer, with some of us playing with our hands and some with our feet, all the while reinventing the rules. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of laughs.
I would like to thank the friends that came to the game, all of those who donated and sponsored our team, and, in particular, I would like to thank the Foundation for bringing scientists a step closer to the people.
Alessandra Pasut is a PhD student in the Rudnicki lab at the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research. She’s now a shinny expert.