Feeding stick or feeding pole (noun): A long slender mechanical implement with 1-2 cup or bottle holders at the end in which coaches can hand fuel or hydration (e.g., water, Gatorade, tea, gel packs, food, chocolate) to their swimmers during a race or solo swim. The implement is generally hand-made, but some recent sophisticated models can extend up to 4 meters in length.
The coach stood at the feeding pontoon with her feeding stick in order to hand the water bottle to her swimmer. [Origin: bef. 1000; ME stikke, OE sticca; akin to OHG stehho, ON stik stick]. Synonyms: pole and rod.
Excerpt from the Open Water Swimming Dictionary (2009 English edition).