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Plan to rename park for Kerryn McCann
BY JOEL RITCHIE
Greg McCann, the husband of champion runner Kerryn McCann, said his family would be thrilled if a plan to rename a Coledale oval in his late wife's honour succeeded.
Coledale Waves Junior Soccer Club president Ian Dewey has approached Wollongong City Council to rename St James Park in honour of the Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who died after a brave 16-month battle with cancer earlier this month.
The council plans to contact the family about an appropriate way to mark McCann's passing in the New Year.
St James Park, which can be seen from the family's Coledale home, was the finishing point of McCann's emotional leg with the Olympic flame before the 2000 Sydney games and the starting point of her training runs.
Mr McCann said the proposal was a "great gesture".
"Everyone around town knew Kerryn and we spent so much time at the ground," he said.
"She would have run around that oval thousands of times as a warm-up for her training runs."
McCann was also a fixture at the ground as eldest son Benny, 11, played for various Waves teams - often coached by Greg.
Mr McCann hopes daughter Josie, 5, and son Cooper, 1, both don the club's claret-and-white jersey in the future.
"I don't know if Josie will play football ... she's so tiny the ball might knock her over," he said.
"The little one, Cooper, he'll be all over it - I can see it now. The kids are down there playing almost every afternoon ... we can see the ground from our place."
How would the kids feel about their favourite sports ground bearing mum's name? "They'd love it - they'd be thrilled," Mr McCann said.
"Kerryn would just blush and say 'don't make a fuss' but she would be thrilled that people thought so highly of her."
Mr Dewey said the Coledale committee tossed around ideas before hitting on renaming their base in honour of McCann.
"We want to keep it in people's minds that breast cancer is here and that scientists need money to get rid of it and hope that Kerryn's very public fight with breast cancer helps achieve something in getting rid of this horrible disease," he said. "We decided naming the park would mean it's there forever."
A council spokeswoman said the general manager would speak with the McCann family in the New Year about the most appropriate way to commemorate Kerryn's achievements.
Until Next Time