Topic: MMA - Mixed Martial Arts

Harding's struggle with father's passing

By Tamati Tiananga

For the first time Bellator fighter Janay Harding has opened up about the loss of her father, the late Geoffrey Charlton. Harding was only 10-Years old at the time. 

"I was always putting on this brave face, it's not a big deal, and I've never had a dad," said Harding 

"We knew so much of her from [Geoffrey Charlton] before he died. Listening to the way he speak about her, we knew how precious she was to him," says Taha  

Harding made a last minute decision to meet with her dad's biological whānau from Ngaruawahia. The 24-Year old female fighter visited her dads grave site for the second time since his passing in 2005.

Harding adds, "This has created the person I am today. Losing a parent and not having him around, I wouldn't be who I am"

"I know she [Janay] is in search of her heritage. For me as a māori women to nurture her and give what we were given," said Taha 

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"It's upsetting that he has missed all the stuff that I've achieved and about to achieve"  

Harding was only 10-years old when her dad passed away. The top fighter who is based in Sydney still remember the phone call her mother received of her dad's passing, "Now at the age that I'm at I felt it was something I needed to do and accept"   

"She's very much like her mum [Brenda], she's got a beautiful wairua and it shows on her, regardless of the fact that she looks like our side of the whānau, it's the beauty within her," adds Taha

"We could've been good mates. It's upsetting, and it's not something I don't want to waste energy on. I just wanted to have it out in the open and just to know how I feel"

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