As the son of the first Indo-Canadian CFL player David Sidoo, Jordan played many different sports early on in his life. After trying virtually everything and picking up different skills from those sports, he gravitated towards rowing. That eventually led him to a nationally-ranked, Division 1 Men’s Rowing team with the University of California Golden Bears.
It wasn’t necessarily an easy road for Jordan to evolve into a Division 1 athlete. However, once he found his groove and had some success in rowing, this was the sport he decided to focus 100% of his energy on.
How did everything come together for Jordan? What benefits are there to participating at a high level in sports beyond just the competition?
Early Interest in Sports
Jordan Sidoo’s sports background had a bit of a rocky start, as he was born with severe club feet. Doctors weren’t sure if he would even casually play sports, let alone play competitively. He quickly beat the odds and started showing a passion for different activities. Eventually, he became a three-sport standout at Saint George’s School in Vancouver.
Basketball appeared to be his first passion, but an injury setback during high school pushed him in a different direction. He started taking rowing more seriously and became the high school’s coxswain in the process.
Quickly, rowing went from just a sport to participate in, to one that could help carve his college future. When it came time to look at colleges, he was thinking academically and athletically. California appeared a perfect fit for both.
Landing a Spot on a D1 Athletics Team
Jordan Sidoo had dreams early of becoming a Division 1 athlete in some sport. Rowing might not have been part of the dream at first, but it became the sport giving him the best chance to get into a good college. After weighing several options, he secured a spot on the Cal-Berkeley (University of California, Berkeley) college rowing team in the 2014–2015 season.
After college admissions and officially weighing in at 6’0” and 125 pounds, Sidoo’s reputation as a solid and dependable cox put him on the same team as some of the country’s best amateur student-athletes at Cal-Berkeley. California consistently fields one of the best collegiate rowing teams year after year, and Sidoo’s hard work landed him a spot on the roster. Balancing school and a sport is challenging for many first-year students, but Jordan found a way to make it work.
Athletic Genes in the Family
Jordan Sidoo’s father, David Sidoo, had a successful athletic career in college and professionally in his own right. After starring in football at the amateur level, playing at the University of British Columbia, he played five seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and BC Lions.
Despite being one of the smaller players on any team he played on, he beat the odds and willed his way to reach the highest level of football in his home country. He also holds the distinction of being the first Indo-Canadian to play in the CFL.
Rowing and football might be completely different sports, but the same focus and determination to reach goals are necessary. Jordan also draws a lot of inspiration from his brother, Dylan. At the high school level, Dylan was a standout in athletics and eventually played Men’s Rugby for USC (University of Southern California). The family has always been a massive proponent of athletics balancing out life in general, which is why the two brothers played team and individual sports from an early age.
How Sports Prepared Jordan Sidoo for Life after Rowing
Rowing opportunities are few and far between post-college. Jordan Sidoo understood that going in, so he mainly focused on academics when picking a school. At Cal-Berkeley, he made connections and craved success in business and tech.
Like sports, being a young entrepreneur, it takes a proper mindset overall to have success. Building his contacts at Cal Berkeley, Jordan was able to assist his brother Dylan in founding the Vanish Messenger app.
Many former athletes who have succeeded in the business world constantly return to lessons they learned in sports. Hard work, discipline, and a never give up attitude.
Inspiring Future Athletes
Jordan Sidoo and his family love athletics enough to make it part of their charitable work. For example, they have made donations to the Kids Play Foundation in Canada to help encourage youth participation in sports. Helping students gain admission into the University of British Columbia with student athletic Scholarships and New Westminster High School Football player scholarships to help them attend college.
Having the Sidoo Family Giving non-profit run through the family, money and time are donated to help children growing up in the same area as the Sidoo brothers. The family’s matra comes from the three T’s, Time, Talent, and Treasure. The goal isn’t necessarily to turn every athlete into one who then goes on to college for a sport, but sports offers numerous benefits beyond that to make a difference.
The Value in Sports for Jordan Sidoo
As Jordan Sidoo gets older, the time in his life as a high-level rower might dwindle into a faint memory. However, like most athletes, Sidoo will look back and notice how much of an impact it made on the rest of his life. From staying in shape to building a strong work ethic to the amazing relationships forged with his college teammates