Football star Andrew Harris returns to Nanaimo for Easter to mentor teens

Football star Andrew Harris returns to Nanaimo for Easter to mentor teens

A CFL Champion is returning to his home to give back to the community that helped him achieve his dream.

With his jacket soaked from standing in pouring Nanaimo rains Saturday, Andrew Harris reflected on where it all started for him at the young age of 18.

“I didn’t really trust anyone or have faith in myself until I kind of came out here and believed in something,” said Andrew Harris, a current running back for the Toronto Argonauts and most recently named Head of Football Operations for the Vancouver Island Raiders.

Saturday, things came full circle for the former Vancouver Island Raider.

Harris watched as the next generation of athletes ran drills, evaluating their speed, agility, and explosiveness. He’s here not only as a mentor, but to scout for future players for his football club.

Harris says he’s come a long way, and sometimes it’s hard to believe.

“I always dreamed of being at this certain point but it didn’t seem like a reality, but again you have dreams you have goals,” he added.

Thirty hopeful players turned up to play at the Nanaimo event.

“Playing in the CFL and stuff that’s one of my dreams and getting to see someone like that is pretty cool,” said 17-year-old hopeful Noah Chase-Samuels.

“It’s exciting. He’s really good and it’s a pleasure meeting him,” said 14-year-old Nanaimo resident Kayden Kalke.

Harris told CHEK News he plans to instill the same life-changing lessons, both on and off the field, that were taught to him by the Vancouver Island Raiders.

As a player who was helped up himself, he sees it as returning the favour. Harris will return full-time to Nanaimo, and assume Head Coach duties of the Vancouver Island Raiders in Feb. 2024.

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