Family and charity work keep Duric busy

Family and charity work keep Duric busy
Aleksandar Duric and his family: Wife Natasha, daughter Isabella, 11, and sons Alessandro, 9 and Massimo, 3.

He may seem as if he is totally focused on football and nothing else.

But, outside of the pitch, Aleksandar Duric has been devoting his time in two non-football activities: raising his family and doing charity work.

The 43-year-old's family - Natasha, wife of 14 years, and his three children Isabella Nina, 11, Alessandro Hugo, nine and Massimo Luca Monty, three - can be seen joining him on the field whenever he celebrates winning another S-League trophy.

His passion for charity work, on the other hand, is often not publicised.

As a former refugee from the Balkans civil war in the early 1990s, the Bosnia-born Duric knows first-hand how poverty feels.

And while he said that "football didn't make me a millionaire", it has not stopped him from doing charity work.

For the past decade, he has been volunteering at a children's home in the eastern part of Singapore.

It was there that he adopted Massimo when the local-born boy was seven days old.

"I adopted Massimo to give him a chance to have a better life," he told The Sunday Times. "My family love him so much and the children all get along so well together.

"Natasha and I are keen to adopt another child. We think we can still feed and love another kid."

Drawing on his network of expatriate friends, he will be alerted should they leave Singapore. The 43-year-old will then pay for movers to deliver his friends' unwanted furniture to the needy.

He has been involved in more visible charity efforts. Last September, for example, he and his three children painted plastic doves that were sold in aid of the Dover Park Hospice.

Two years ago, he drove a taxi for 12 days to raise $2,657 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF).

In 2011, he ran the half-marathon race at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore alongside radio deejay Rod Monteiro and kinesiologist Dr Tan Swee Kheng to help Sanctuary House, which provides foster care for children.

Said Duric: "It is my obligation to give something back to Singapore. I will never say no to charity."

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