Move to Winnipeg gives Bombers’ Harris chance to be a full-time dad
Little girls often don’t like to share daddy-daughter time, but that’s not the case when Andrew Harris is out with nineyear-old Hazel.
When fans come up to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back to say hello or get his autograph, his daughter gets a kick out of the attention.
“She enjoys it. She thinks I’m the biggest star in the world, which is amazing,” Harris said recently with a chuckle.
“It’s a great feeling to have your daughter look up to you like that and know you’ve done something in your life.”
Harris is at a good place in his professional and personal life. For the first time in a decade, he got to spend a full year in his hometown after signing as a free agent with the Bombers last year.
What the running back has appreciated the most is more time with Hazel, whom he coparents with his former girlfriend.
“My daughter has definitely been the biggest influence on where I’m at today and who I am today,” said Harris, who’s getting ready to report for training camp on May 26.
“I don’t know where I would be or if I would have even made it if I didn’t have her in my life at such a young age.”
Harris, 30, left Winnipeg after high school to play for the Vancouver Island Raiders of the Canadian Junior Football League.
Hazel was born in 2008 and the young family lived in Nanaimo while Harris played football and worked. The couple split up the following year and Hazel and her mom moved back to Winnipeg.
After starting his CFL career with the B.C. Lions in 2010, Harris was determined to provide for Hazel financially and emotionally. He always returned to Winnipeg in the off-season to be with her.
That desire to be a supportive parent was influenced by his upbringing. His father wasn’t part of his life growing up and he and his mother sometimes struggled financially. It was one of the reasons he gave up playing hockey and focused on football.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris and his daughter Hazel fly a kite at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg on May 13.