DAVID (Dave) Sidoo, the first athlete of Indian descent to play professional football, reportedly anywhere in the world, was on Wednesday announced as the 2017 recipient of the BC Sports Hall of Fame’s W.A.C. Bennett Award.
According to the BC Sports Hall of Fame’s short bio of Sidoo:
* Born in New Westminster, B.C.
* Played six seasons in the CFL, 1983-89, with Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions.
* Three-time selection to Canada West All-Star team while playing for UBC, 1980, 1981, 1982.
* Selected to CIAU All-Canadian team, 1982.
* Captained UBC to the university’s first Vanier Cup national championship, 1982.
* Invested millions of dollars in youth sport across British Columbia, including the Canada Basketball Foundation skills camps, supporting Olympic athletes in training and youth sports scholarships.
* Resurrected the high school football program in New Westminster Secondary.
* Created UBC Football Alumni’s 13th Man Foundation, 2015, which supports the UBC football program. Credited with providing the environment that led to UBC’s 2015 Vanier Cup national championship.
* Sidoo Field at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium is named in his honour.
* Recipient, Kidsplay Foundation Sports Lifetime Achievement Award.
* Recipient, BC Football Hall of Fame’s Bob Ackles Award for outstanding contribution to Canadian football, 2014.
* Inductee, UBC Sports Hall of Fame, 2010.
* Recipient, Order of British Columbia, 2016.
* Recognized as one of UBC’s top 100 outstanding alumni, 2015.
Those who have received this prestigious award in the past are:
* Erwin Swangard (2014) (Multi-sport)
* Arthur Griffiths (2016)
* Bill Cunningham (1983)
* Charles N. ‘Chunky’ Woodward (1986)
* Eugene Reimer (1993)
* Frank Griffiths, Sr. (1997)
* Franz Wilhelmsen (1998)
* Gordon Shrum (2008)
* Jack Diamond (1989)
* John Furlong (2004)
* John Wilson ‘Jack’ Poole (2005)
* Marty Zlotnik (2011)
* May Brown (2012)
* Nat Bailey (2003)
* Pat Quinn (2013)
* Peter J.G. Bentley (1999)
* Rick Hansen (1987)
* Terry Fox (1980)
According to Sidoo’s website, he is a successful businessman based in Vancouver where he oversees a successful private investment banking and financial management firm. After retiring from football in 1988, he was introduced to the brokerage business. From there he became a broker with Yorkton Securities where he quickly became one of the company’s top revenue generators. He went on to become Partner and Advisory Board Member at Yorkton Securities, consistently generating commissions that ranked in the Top Five nationally. In 1999, he left Yorkton to pursue private investment banking. He was founding shareholder of American Oil & Gas Inc., which was sold to Hess Corporation in December 2010 for over US$600 million.