David Sidoo: How Peers Impacted His Life Growing Up
David Sidoo’s life growing up involved dealing with many of the same challenges all-boys face when they are coming of age. However, dealing with issues such as acceptance as an Indo-Canadian, and a significant death in the family, put extra stress on him growing up.
Thanks to strong support from peers and a drive to be great from within, Sidoo became a successful young man with a college scholarship to the University of British Columbia. That led to a professional career in football with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the BC Lions in the CFL and numerous successful business ventures.
Growing Up Indo-Canadian
Canada continues to grow more and more into a true melting pot. However, growing up Indo-Canadian decades ago wasn’t easy. As one of the smallest in his class and having stereotypes follow him around for better or worse due to his heritage, David Sidoo uniquely found acceptance. David Sidoo fell in love with football early on and started taking it seriously enough to play beyond youth leagues.
Later in life and after he had some success, David Sidoo vowed to help others in his community by focusing on three simple principles. The three T’s: time, talent, and treasure. It takes time to develop into an outstanding athlete, especially when undersized. Sidoo realized earlier that he couldn’t get by with natural talent only. Commitment to football goals had to be set early on to evolve into one of the best players in his area. None of this happened overnight.
Eventually, this time developing a skill starts to turn into talent. Working hard is one thing, but focusing on the proper work ethic also creates a difference. All led to treasure, and in a football sense, included memories in college after admission and a 5-year professional career in the Canadian Football League.
David Sidoo believes he would never have even played football in college had he not had a strong work ethic and thick skin. Growing up with immigrant parents, he wanted to take advantage of the limited resources they provided for him. What started as just wanting to get out of the house on weekends and be “ good” at something and feel accepted ended up evolving into a professional career in football. Along the way, he proved countless people wrong that being Indo Canadian, being too small, or too slow, can’t stop you from reaching your dreams.
Dealing with Personal Loss
After passing through admissions and getting into college, things were going pretty well for David Sidoo. He was going to one of the finest universities in Canada and playing on a team with national championship aspirations. During his third season in college, he evolved into a star on the gridiron.
Life was great for the young student-athlete with seven interceptions, an all-star selection, and team MVP award to his name. However, when the season wrapped up, he received a call no one wants. His father passed away, instantly leaving a massive void in his life.
Part of David Sidoo’s drive athletically and academically came from his father. He knew about his father’s financial struggles early on when moving to Canada. He strived to one day provide financial support for his entire family.
In an instant, part of the dream faded away. It was such a challenge at home for David and his family that he approached his college coaches and told them that he would need to quit University to get a job to support his family.
This moment in life was a huge turning point for David Sidoo. Instead of letting him quit and walk away from a promising football career, his college coaches took him under their wing. They told Sidoo that they would help him stay in school, play football and help him reach his dream to play professional football. They helped him land two jobs, apply for scholarships, and get as much help as possible to make it all work during this trying time.
David Sidoo never imagined getting this type of support from his coaches. He truly felt like he had another family now, and that’s when in his mind, he pledged that he would give back to his University. It’s a pledge that he’s honored throughout his professional career.
Creating Professional Success
Thanks to family, friends, and peers, David Sidoo evolved into a true success story athletically and in business. Right out of college, he spent five years playing in the Canadian football league. That little kid everyone doubted growing up? He made history as the first Indo-Canadian professional player in the CFL.
After football, he began a career as a stockbroker. Many of his connections made throughout college and pro football helped him build his clientele base quickly. Even while playing pro football, he was constantly studying, talking to his teammates about investing, and building a network.
To this day, Sidoo is quick to give credit to those mentors in his life; his parents, his college coaches, and teammates who supported him. Without a strong team, there were many times in his life that his dreams could have been derailed. Giving back to the next generation of youth and giving them a chance to attain their dreams inspires Sidoo.
That’s why his philanthropic side largely skews towards youth-focused charities and organizations. He’s been involved with Grade School Breakfast Club which he CO-Founded with his son’s Dylan and Jordan, youth sports leagues, and more in the Greater Vancouver area. Like his mentors and coaches did for him, giving back and trying to make a difference and changing the lives of others is a rewarding experience for David Sidoo.