Family, friends and teammates of Tariq are honouring his memory and his values with the Tariq Rafi Prize, which recognizes strength, courage and perseverance in a Trent University rugby player.

The fundraising effort has already passed its first important milestone. The initial $25,000 goal was met in time for the first $1,000 award to be presented at the Trent Athletic Banquet in March, 2016. Please see below for details about Charlie Tremblay, our first Prize recipient.

It will then be awarded in subsequent years at the annual Trent Rugby Banquet. Our next fundraising goal is to reach $50,000 so that this becomes a $2,000 award for future recipients. Tariq was the kind of guy who would do anything for a friend, and this award is a great way for all of us to do something special to show what he meant to us.

With your donation, the award will help a student and rugby player who exemplifies Tariq’s qualities.


Strength itself is not that uncommon a quality, but the ability to give strength to others is a rare and precious gift. Tariq’s teammates elevated their performance because he raised their spirits. Friends were happier and more hopeful, because he generously shared his sunny disposition. Family felt blessed, knowing that to be worthy of Tariq’s love made them special and strong, too. He left too soon, but his strength lives on in others.


Courage characterized Tariq’s play on the rugby pitch, but it was in life that he put that courage to good and practical use. He supported students as a Trent don, and after graduating, built a business that gave a livelihood to others. He created a family, a home and a life that made life better for those with the good fortune to share his neighbourhood. His courage allowed him to face his final challenge with grace and dignity – seizing every moment of life, love and friendship in this world.


Perseverance means you play until the final whistle blows. Tariq would never quit on the team. He would never quit on a friend, or quit kidding a friend, when the occasion called for it. For Tariq, the final whistle blew on May 31, 2015. He had faced illness and death with a fierce and renewed determination to love his family for as long as he could, share his friendship as much as he could, and to leave the world thinking of others, as only he could.


We’re well on our way to our final goal of $50,000, thanks to the generosity of these donors:

Khalil Ajram
Greg Alfred
Alan M. Barber
Andrea L. Boassaly
Tonie Chaltas
Gene Chartier
Chatterjee-Kisson Family
Andrew W. Clendinneng
Dena Coward
Roderick S. Cumming
Dizzy Friends of Tariq
Jeane C. Elder
Kevin Elder
Tenio Evangelista
Maureen Gallagher
Jane Gerbasi
Bill Gerbasi
Doug R. Graham
Ruth Hawkins
Katherine Henderson
David and Kathie Hetherington
Randy Hodge
Shelly Jamieson
Rachel Kampus

David Knight
Patrick Liuzzo
Anthony Liuzzo
Ian Mackay
Elizabeth E. McCarney
Mark McLaughlin
Matthew C. Miller
Chris Morley
Jennifer Morris
John O’Sullivan
David & Shelley Peterson Foundation
Vince Quattrocchi
Saad Rafi
Rafi Old Boys
Bohodar Rubashewsky
Andrew Seely
Mustafa Siddiqi
Patricia Sorbara
Stephen Vail
Jerry Valgora
David Ward
Scott White
Gordon Wilson
Judith Wright

There’s still more work to do. With your donation, the Prize can help a student and rugby player who exemplifies Tariq’s qualities. Please consider making your gift today. All gifts in memory of this remarkable teammate, husband, father, brother and friend are tax deductible.


 Strong Start: First Rafi Prize Recipient Determined On the Field, In Life

Charlie Tremblay knew he’d be getting up on stage for the Trent University Athletic Banquet. Not that he’s cocky, but he was one of the two emcees. So, while he expected to be introducing award recipients, it was a surprise to hear his own name called – as the first-ever recipient of the Tariq Rafi prize.

Charlie’s coaches and teammates saw in him the strength, courage and perseverance that Tariq had shown on the field and in life. “I have never been the best athlete. Never the huge hitter or the biggest guy, but this allowed me to adapt to excel in other aspects like communication, skill and knowledge of the game.”

Teammates remember Tariq as someone who loved the sport of rugby, not only for the thrill of competition, which he relished, but for the friendships, which he cherished and maintained throughout life. Charlie appreciates those broader benefits of the game, as well. “There is a community that comes with rugby and a culture that drives it. As most people know, the brutish nature of the game does not reflect the kind of people that participate. It’s about community members making people better, not just at sport but in life, and that is what I love.”

With plans to become a teacher, Charlie has expressed sincere appreciation for the modest financial help that the Tariq Rafi Prize provides. In addition to meeting the financial challenge of attending post-secondary education, Charlie lives with dyslexia in meeting his academic requirements. He now aspires to become a teacher. “A loving family helps me where they can, as I am the first in my family to go to university. Every year there is something new to overcome and I look forward to returning to Trent this fall,” says Charlie.