CFL Bob Ackles Award
Born in Vancouver in 1960, David Sidoo played football throughout high school, earning a scholarship to UBC in 1978, where his work ethic quickly got him noticed; Sidoo worked through his four years at University. In 1980, he was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player and earned his first of three consecutive Canada West All-Star selections. He earned the Tom Pate Memorial Scholarship in 1981, an award that is handed out by the CFL itself to a student athlete for their contributions to their team. In 1982, he was a member of the historic Thunderbirds team that won its first Vanier Cup. He was selected to the All-Canadian team that year for his efforts. The 1982 team was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and the BC Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Sidoo was inducted into UBC’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 as a player.
That same year, the defensive back was drafted by the the Saskatchewan Roughriders and gave his $5,000 signing bonus to his mom to help pay her mortgage after his father passed away. He was the first indo-Canadian to play in the CFL. In his fifth year as a defensive safety with Saskatchewan, he began studying for his securities exam and in 1987, when he made the move to the BC Lions, he worked as a broker in his spare time. He retired from football in 1988.
Sidoo has gone on to create a business empire in his post-playing days first as an investment banker and then as a private investor and shareholder. In 2010, he sold American Oil & Gas, of which he was a founding shareholder, to Hess Corporation for over US $600 million. He currently owns a successful private investment firm as well as holds the Executive Chairman and Director title at East West Petroleum, an exploration company. He has been continuously recognized as one of Vancouver’s “Power 50” as a top-100-earning South Asian in Canada. In 2013, he was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubille Medal by the Government of Canada for his humanitarian efforts and continued commitment to charitable organizations. He and his wife Manjy started Sidoo Family Giving, a foundation that supports youth sports programs, domestic violence initiatives and breakfast programs for young kids in East Vancouver.
Sidoo’s most recent venture is the salvation of his alma matter UBC’s storied football program. Sidoo, along with five other Vancouver business players, took on the task of procuring $2.4 million to back the athletics department and redo Thunderbird Stadium for the school’s once-dominant football team. To help oversee the project, Sidoo was named to UBC’s Board of Governors in January 2014.