The City of Long Beach recently installed a giant record board at the newly refurbished swimming pool at the Rec Center. The record board is dedicated to the memory of the late Joseph F. Farrell, a former recreation leader and swim coach.
The board — the brainchild of brothers Will and Cliff Skudin — was donated by their corporation, Skudin Surf, along with funding from the Joe Farrell Foundation. It adorns the wall at the swimming pool and lists the all-time records for the Long Beach Aquatic Swim Team. It will be updated annually.
Joe Farrell coached both Cliff and Will Skudin, who said that they were pleased to give back to the place “where it all started.”
“I am very proud and honored to contribute to this record board and can’t wait to see the youth of Long Beach break these records,” Will Skudin said at the dedication ceremony.
“This record board is so special and highlights swimming tradition in Long Beach and is something that will always keep Joe Farrell’s legacy alive,” added Cliff Skudin. “He was an amazing person and contributed countess hours to thousands of children. He was an inspiration to our youth in and out of the pool.”
“The record board is the first thing you notice when you enter the pool, and it is meant to bring visibility to our exceptional aquatic program now led by Joe’s wife, Recreation Swimming Supervisor and Head Swim Coach Gail Farrell. It is an asset to the facility and a wonderful tribute to Joe and his family, said Robert Piazza, commissioner of Parks and Recreation. “The Recreation Department thanks Skudin Surf and is honored to have the name Joe Farrell in bold letters above its pool. Thank you to everyone who made this board possible.”
In September, the Joe Farrell Foundation held its first annual fundraiser at the Saloon, where the group raised money to help the Long Beach Aquatics team as it recovered from Hurricane Sandy. The foundation also funds scholarship money for student athletes in the Long Beach School District, Long Beach aquatics swimmers and youngsters participating in Rec Center sports programs. — Compiled by Anthony Rifilato