SUCCESS: Former CFL player and now broker David Sidoo makes Vancouver Magazine’s power list

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

David Sidoo will take part in the Association of South Asian Professionals’ annual Blankets for the Homeless event Saturday in Oppenheimer Park, where volunteers will collect clothing and blankets for the homeless. Submitted photo

It was hard-work and a long road to success for Vancouver’s David Sidoo.

The once professional football player and now prominent bussinessman with his East West Petroleum Corp. was named one of Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 last month. He and Moe Sihota are the only two Indo Canadians on the list.

“To have your name in there … is a real honour and a compliment,” Sidoo told Vancouver Desi. “It’s a nice validation.”

But his accomplishments didn’t come easy.

“It wasn’t built up overnight — it was a long, long procession of hard work and luck and persevering,” he said.

Sidoo, one of six children, grew up in New Westminster. He attributes much of his character to his hard-working father.

“He was much like most Indo Canadians at that time — he worked in the saw mill,” he said. “I just took his hard work ethics …(and) that really helped me as a young kid — a young Indo Canadian kid especially.”

Sidoo’s determination groomed his football career right from high school, which paid off as he went on to a football scholarship with the University of B.C. Thunderbirds, onto the B.C. Lions and then signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders — the first Indo Canadian to play professional football.

After his football career, he entered the brokerage business in 1989 and 10 years later he developed his own company.

Sidoo believes integrity, honesty, positive role models and good character goes “a long way” in the bussiness world — and it’s what got him to where he is today.

“I was fortunate enough to be around good people when I was growing up,” he said. “(And) that’s important for kids these days is to have good role models and have good people that are around them.”

Sidoo said negative press — like the gangland shooting of Sukh Dhak on Nov. 27 — represents such a small percentage of the South Asian community. There are so many positive role models, like Sidoo or Sihota, setting a good example — and that example is that hard work pays off.

“You can be anything you want as long as you don’t take short cuts and I think that’s what gets kids into the bad situations,” he said. “They just want to get it right now.

“I went from high school to college, college to professional football, professional football to 10 years in the brokerage business and now 10 years (with my own business).”

Finally making it to where he is today, Sidoo feels the need to give back to the community that’s helped him so much.

“People helped me — they put their hand on my shoulder and said, ‘You can do this,’” he said.

Sidoo and his wife created the Sidoo Family Giving foundation, which supports high school and university sports programs, domestic violence initiatives and single mothers and breakfast programs for young kids in East Vancouver.

An upcoming initiative for Sidoo is the Association of South Asian Professionals’ annual Blankets for the Homeless event Saturday. They’ll be collecting clothing and blankets in Oppenheimer Park in East Vancouver at 11 a.m.

“You can’t take everything with you so you might as well give something back,” said Sidoo. “It’s a huge chain reaction in someone’s life — like it was in mine.”





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