If you’ve been to a store recently, you may have noticed toilet paper, or a lack thereof.

It’s one of the items that has been flying off of the shelves at supermarkets and stores across the country but some young hockey players in Iqaluit decided to combine their hockey skills with a roll of the white fibrous gold.

Austin Caza of Iqaluit shows off his stickhandling skills with a roll of toilet paper outside the old Hudson’s Bay store in Iqaluit earlier this month. The video was put together by Laisa Kilabuk and has generated plenty of positive feedback.
image courtesy of Laisa Kilabuk

There’s a video making the rounds on social media showing several of the capital’s fine young players doing their thing and the person responsible for putting it all together was Laisa Kilabuk.

“I saw one on social media so I got a few players from here (Iqaluit) to do it and I put the video together,” she said.

Kilabuk’s three children – Maya, Emma and Jeremy Nadrowski – are all in the video along with other players such as Austin Caza and Bradley Nowdluk-Fraser, both of who have been part of Hockey Nunavut adventures over the years.

Each of the players is seen either on the ice or on solid ground receiving a roll of toilet paper in the air, which they then keep airborne by using their stick to play keep-up. They then “pass” it off to another player and the chain continues.

Kilabuk said it took about a week to get everyone on video.

“I have a good relationship with the kids,” she said. “They’re my daughter’s friends so it was something they agreed to do … just had to push them a little to get it all done.”

Getting them to be a part of it wasn’t a hard sell either, she added.

“I had shared the one I saw on social media so they were excited to do it,” she said. “When I was videoing them, they were laughing (and) Bradley said ‘I can say I’ve never juggled with toilet paper before, I’ve done it with fruits and whatnot but not toilet paper’. It wasn’t easy. They had to do quite a few tries before we got the perfect one.”

Each video with Kilabuk’s kids took about an hour to shoot, which included the time it took to find a suitable location, while the videos from the others took about an hour to download because of slow Internet service, she said.

Something you’ll notice about the video is that everyone is practising proper social distancing, something Kilabuk said was a big part of the video.

But more than that, she said it was mostly about getting people back out playing sports.

“I just loved the whole idea of doing something as a team, even though that was taken away because of COVID-19,” she said. “We can still do something as a team within the sport we all love and miss.”

But while her kids miss playing hockey, there’s something they don’t miss as much and that’s turned into a positive in Kilabuk’s eyes.

“They are still OK with no school,” she said with a laugh. “With no structured activities, no structure in schooling, they are lacking the whole being active but they are, I want to say, re-learning our culture. We went to the cabins, and they are driving on the snow machine a lot.”

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