Team: Orlando Solar Bears ECHL
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Birth Year: 1992
Weight: 190 lbs
Chosen Attribute: Teamwork, Excellence, Serving, Integrity
Why is this important to you?
I would say that all these attributes are very important to living a healthy life so we must all take these into consideration each and everyday.
Teamwork - I believe that “Teamwork” is essential to having any kind of success. Whether it is in sports, the work field, the household or the real world. It is very difficult to overcome obstacles on your own these days. Yes, you can overcome individual obstacles, but anytime you can come together with someone on different tasks or situations, the more helpful it can be. At home, parents and their children have to work together to get the house cleaned, dinner prepped or mowing the lawn. At the rink, teams need to work together to be successful. Any team in any sport can have all the skill in the world, but if they are not willing to buy in and play for the guy next to them, than they will not have success. A team playing for each other is a team I want to be one because I know the guy next to me is doing whatever he can to help us win.
Excellence - I believe that “Excellence” is important for every athlete. You should all want to compete and work hard each and everyday to make your team better. If you focus on getting better to help your team, than you will also have personal success too. My strength coach in Sioux Falls Kevin Ziegler once said, “Embrace Hard”. That sticks with me to this day six years later. EMBRACE HARD! Nothing ever comes easy, but embrace that and work hard for what you want. It may not always come right away, but remember God has a plan. He loves you and will be happy that you are using the gifts He gave you to glorify Him. During my summer workouts this past summer, after coming off a season ending injury last year, this two worded quote was in my head from my first rep to my last rep. I use to it push me through the hard times.
Serving - I believe that “Serving” is an important attribute to me personally. I believe that when I am serving and helping others, I am therefore serving the Lord. Serving brings me a sense of happiness and it allows me to feel that I am working for Him, while impacting other people’s lives. I believe that the more we serve others, the more we create a heaven on Earth. I believe that in today’s world, it is more important to serve others and give, than receive. If people had this mindset and lived for Him, than the world would be a lot better off and everyone could be happy. I believe that serving is a craving of mine and also my fruit.
Integrity - I believe that “Integrity” is more of a personal attribute. It calls for us to look at ourselves in the mirror at times. When I see this word, I think of being true to myself, sticking with the process, parking my distractions, and doing what I know is the right thing in different situations. Sticking up for teammates and showing respect for the game of hockey also relates back to integrity. Never cheat the game and always play hard.
Have you been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past? What has been your experience with us? How has FCA Hockey impacted you?
I have never been involved with FCA or FCA Hockey in the past. My team chaplain at RIT and my time in Sioux Falls with the Stampede were associated with Hockey Ministries International so I was grateful for that. My experience with FCA so far has been a fun one. I am fortunate enough to join other hockey players every other week for a conference call run by Gary Steffes.
We are currently reading “Galations For You” by Timothy Keller. Just to connect with a group of guys that share the same views as you is something special. To sum the experience in one word, I would have to say “Family”. I feel like I am a part of something everyday I wake up and for that I am thankful. FCA Hockey has impacted me tremendously. The conference calls we have every other week are very encouraging. It is refreshing and inspiring. Our group of guys are all going through the same kind of things so when we share our stories and dive into the Word, we can really grow together in our walk with God.
What is your favorite scripture verse? Why is this important to you?
One of my favourite scripture verses that was brought to my attention from my Chaplain at RIT, Marc Porpilia is
Philippians 1:20 - "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."
This verse is very important to me. Marc actually got bracelets made up for our chapel group at RIT that I still wear to this day. I never take it off. To me, it means “Either Way”. No matter what we do, God will be glorified. Whether that is through life or death. This verse is relatable for hockey players today. Regardless if we’re injured, scoring goals, sitting on the bench, sitting in the stands, we must glorify God “Either Way”. We must remain faithful through our highs and lows in life. We must remember that our daily battles are already won and no matter what happens to us, God will be glorified.
How did you hear about FCA Hockey?
I heard about FCA Hockey through Gary Steffes. I believe it just happened through following each other on Twitter and then connecting through direct message. Gary messaged me and the rest is history. We have built a strong relationship since then. Gary is very inspirational not just through his faith, but also the way he leads in the real world. He has been very supportive of me and it is nice to have someone you can turn to for questions or hockey/life advice.
What else should we know about you (future goals in hockey, family members, what church do you go to, favorite stuff outside of hockey, etc.)
My name is Todd Skirving. I am a forward for the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL. I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada where I attended Claude E. Garton Elementary School and St. Patrick High School. I started playing hockey at the young age of 3. You could basically say Canadians are born with skates on. I played hockey all the way till the end of high school where I then moved away from home and spent a year of junior hockey in the BCHL before spending the next two seasons in the USHL for the Sioux Falls Stampede. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the next 4 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology where I graduated with a New Media Marketing/Minor Public Relations and Advertising degree and skated for the Division I Ice Hockey team. During my time I was also fortunate enough to capture two conference titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament where we were quite successful.
As for most hockey players, my goal is to play professional hockey for as long as possible. Not everyone gets to wake up every morning and do something that they love to do. I love the game of hockey and to be able to do that each and everyday with my “brothers” is something special to me and something I thank God for every morning/night. I encourage all the younger athletes out there to explore the NCAA route as one of your options. Now that I have completed my school, I am very thankful to have a back up plan should my hockey career come to an end one day, or if I suffer a career ending injury at any point. It is always nice to have that degree in your back pocket if needed.
I am an only child in family. I am loved and supported by two amazing parents. Doris and Rod. I have been blessed with the best. They have put in so much effort and hours to help get me to where I am today. I would not be at this level of hockey if it was not for their sacrifices. As I always say, they gave up their own dreams when I was born so that I could live out mine today. They have always been supportive of my faith and my walk with God. It is nice having parents that care for you no matter your decisions. They have been my biggest supporters since day one and I can never thank them enough.
Back home, I tend to go to several different churches. I am usually only home 2-3 months of the summer so usually when I come back I try to connect with friends and family at their respective churches. Although the teachings may be a little different from church to church, I believe that at the end of the day, it is a place of worship and we are all there to honour God.
I am a pretty laid back guy outside of hockey. I spend my summers with my parents since I do not see them as much during the season. I put in the work both on and off the ice throughout the summer as well to better myself for the new season ahead. I also like the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, exploring, you name it. It is always nice to get away from the rink and reflect with God. During the season, I like hanging out with the boys back at the apartments, or lucky for me being in Orlando, by the pool. We have many BBQ nights that’s for sure.
I would like to thank Gary Steffes for all his time and effort with FCA Hockey. He has been a tremendous supporter to athletes across the country. I would not be a part of this without him today. I encourage those who do not know him to reach out and get to know him. He can be a great support system to you and your walk with God.
Posted on Mon, March 5, 2018
by Rick Randazzo