With the major competition season right around the corner, the U.S. Women's National Water Polo team is gearing up for two exhibition matches against tough European competitors. And among their secret weapons will be fresh apples and pears from Stemilt Growers.
Stemilt is the official fresh fruit sponsor of USA Water Polo, which means its fruits will be featured during both the men's and women's team events throughout 2011. The competitive season for both teams runs from May to October, but as with any elite sport training is a priority all year long.
According to Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt, the partnership with USA Water Polo fits well with the company’s healthy fruits.
"With loads of nutrients and antioxidants, fresh fruits like apples and pears are great foods to give water polo athletes the fuel that they need to compete at such a high level," Mr. Pepperl said in a March 30 press release. "This partnership is exciting as it teams up two organizations focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle by way of eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly."
During this training trip, the women's team has already taken on defending gold medalists from the 2008 Olympics, the Netherlands, during an exhibition match on March 29. Next, the team will travel to Italy to take on Orizzonte, an Italian club team, in an exhibition match. Orizzonte is the team that three-time Olympic medalist and current team member, Brenda Villa, plays for during the off-season. The exhibition matches and training sessions is a good way for Team USA to mix things up after spending months practicing with each other.
Team USA brings a talented team to the exhibition matches in Europe. They have won every major championship over the last two years and enter the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in the world. The United States and the Netherlands will potentially meet again later this summer at the culminating event -- the FINA World Championships in China in late July.
In addition to team events, Stemilt and USA Water Polo are partners on the web - through traditional web sites and social media. In fact, USA Water Polo featured Stemilt in its March Member Madness, which offered exclusive deals to its large membership base. Stemilt recently launched a new healthy living section featuring tips from members of the U.S. National Team.