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.