A man synonymous with UBC football, both on and off the field, has received the Province of BC's highest civilian honour. UBC Football Alum David Sidoo was awarded the Order of British Columbia Tuesday. Sidoo was a MVP defensive back and record-breaking kick returner on the 1982 Vanier Cup Champion UBC Thunderbirds. He was instrumental in the Thunderbirds' storybook season of 1982, which saw them go undefeated and hoist the Vanier Cup for the first time in school history.
After graduating from UBC in 1982 with a BA in Education and a Minor in Business, Sidoo went on to play five seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The distinguished member of the Thunderbird community has been inducted into the UBC Hall of Fame as an athlete, while his 1982 Thunderbird team was enshrined in the team category. David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium bears his name as he's contributed countless hours of his time and generous resources to his beloved UBC Thunderbirds football program.
"It's a humbling experience to be honest," said Sidoo over the phone as he rushes in and out of meetings. "I have great respect for the other recipients on that list, so this is a honor."
The conversation shifts gears to talk of Sidoo's insatiable energy for philanthropy. "I've had good luck in business, and UBC has been wonderful to me over my life," he explains. "You can't take it all with you and it's just greed if you try. The ability to see a kid who hasn't got the breaks that I did and help them out is a privilege."
Sidoo is the founder of the 13th Man Foundation, a group of Thunderbird football supporters who have drastically shifted the program to a "Culture of Excellence", culminating with their incredible Vanier Cup Championship in 2015.
The Province released this statement when describing why Sidoo was selected for the award:
"Sporting legend and successful investment banker David Sidoo has leveraged his success to become a leading philanthropist and a catalyst for improving the lives of many British Columbians through his support of many programs.He has been most impactful in making a difference in the lives of youth all across British Columbia. David and his wife, Manjy, started Sidoo Family Giving, an organization actively involved in the community for the betterment of families and at-risk youth of all ages, specifically supporting children's breakfast programs, children's cancer research, mentoring programs, teenage sports programs and community scholarships. Additionally the Sidoo Family Athletics Endowment is the largest of its kind at UBC."
Sidoo currently sits on the UBC Board of Governors. Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, Chancellor of the Order, announced the sixteen recipients of the award Tuesday at the Provincial Legislature in Victoria.