Covic gets behind White Ribbon Day

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers' experienced custodian Ante Covic says it’s not just goals he wants to stop.

The 38-year-old has become an ambassador for  White Ribbon Australia, an organisation at the forefront of eradicating violence against women.

One woman a week dies in Australia due to domestic violence – a statistic largely unknown, unspoken and certainly unwanted.

Now Covic says he's keen to extend his on-field leadership into the community to educate and mentor players and fans about Australia’s dark secret.

And there's no better time. November 25 is White Ribbon Day and organisations across Australia are sending a message that there is no place for family violence.

“It’s a big problem, a cowardly problem,” Covic said.

“Domestic violence doesn’t just involve hitting - financial and emotional violence is just as bad.”

The goalkeeper's personal experience was a major factor in his willingness to become an ambassador.

“I know someone who has gone through it (domestic violence) and it was a real eye opener to see how big the problem is and the damage it causes,” he said.

“This cause is important to me. , I have a wife and daughter. Being involved in such a cause has made my family proud.”

Around 40% of women have experienced violence since the age of 15 and just under one third (29%) have experienced physical assault.

This is the first step of many for the Wanderers who are taking their anti-violence message out into the community, and Covic says he’s getting plenty of backing from his teammates.

“The boys have been supportive and positive, and the club has really emphasised the White Ribbon cause,” he added.

Covic said he’s excited by the opportunity to positively influence youth.

“Players know they can speak to me anytime, I’m a leader within the playing group,” he said.

“Being one of the older boys, they (younger players) see me as a mentor. I take pride in being able to spread the message to the boys”. 

Visit the White Ribbon Australia website for more information on how you can help.

- Alan Mtashar