Our pioneers set foot on Canadian soil more than 130 years ago. Since their arrival here they never looked back. As a result of their hard work, resilience and determination, they made an indelible mark in this country. That paved the way for the following generations to build up on the foundation laid down by our pioneers. All of this has made the South Asian community as the most visible, successful, generous and resilient one in this country. There are countless examples of the members of our community who have excelled in various fields . 62 year old David Sidoo, a very successful businessman, former professional athlete and well-known philanthropist, is one of those individuals who have made a commendable contribution not only to the South Asian community but also to the community-at-large.
Born in New Westminster in an ordinary but hard working family, David had a fairly difficult childhood. However, he still remembers the values his parents taught him as he was growing up. These included hard work, perseverance and integrity. After completing grade 12 at New Westminster Secondary School, David, went on a four year football scholarship to UBC. He graduated from UBC in 1982 after helping win the school’s first national championship. From there, David went on to play for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders in 1983 making history as the first Indo-Canadian to be drafted and play in the Canadian Football League (CFL).In 1988 Sidoo would finish his career in the CFL with the BC Lions and start his successful career as a prominent businessman and a philanthropist.
David’s transition from a football star to business has been quite dramatic. He started out as a broker with Yorkton Securities and soon rose through the ranks to become Partner and Advisory Board Member at this firm. In 1999, he left Yorkton to pursue private investment banking. David transitioned into a financier, board member and founding shareholder of several companies in the Oil and Gas Mining sectors. This kind of success in business prompted David, his wife Manjy and their two sons-Dylan and Jordan- to launch Sidoo Family Giving, a charity whose causes include supportive housing for the homeless, breakfast and arts programs for elementary school children as well as children’s football camps and research into childhood cancers. Not only this, Sidoos continue to give back to the community on many other ways as well.
Sidoo Family Athletics Endowment at UBC has provided hundreds of scholarships to student athletes. The Sidoo family worked tirelessly to resurrect the football program at UBC by forming the 13th Man Foundation. The family is also actively involved with organizations like Kids Play which provide positive alternatives to youth at risk for gang involvement. As a former professional athlete, whose life was changed by sports at a pivotal age, Sidoo seeks to support community organizations that provide athletic opportunities to those less fortunate. He has always strived to empower children and youth develop positive and healthy lifestyles. Here is another example of David Sidoo’s generosity.
In view of the difficulties being faced by the people of Punjab due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, #5 Road, Richmond decided to launch a fundraising campaign to help our brothers, sisters and children in our villages in our home country and the province of Punjab The Gurdwara Management Committee, in addition to an appeal to its congregation, decided to approach generous individuals like David Sidoo to help. Without any questions or hesitation, David was kind enough to present a cheque for $20,000 to the Gurdwara to help the needy in the villages of Punjab. This is the kind of person he is. We, at India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas are very thankful to David and the Sidoo family for their generosity. Not only that, David has also offered to help our Gurdwara and youth organizations connected with the Gurdwara with sports programs not only financially but also as a mentor and help set up these programs. Our youth sorely needs generous donors and dedicated mentors like David Sidoo to act as their mentor, guide and role model.
Los Angeles, July 28, 2021
NRIpress.club/Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh