Friday 20 August 2021: Australian athletics star Riley Day’s ambition to compete for a medal at the next Olympic Games has received a much needed boost thanks to a new long term partnership with Woolworths.
Riley, a fruit and vegetable team member from Woolworths Beaudesert in Queensland, achieved a personal best in the 200 metres at the Tokyo Olympics. By reaching the semi finals she put the world on notice that she was a serious contender in the event.
After the outstanding performance in Tokyo, Woolworths’ commitment to their team member will allow Riley to relocate to Brisbane for better access to training facilities as she works towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.
As part of the partnership, Riley will help inspire the next generation of fresh food kids via a number of the Woolworths health and education programs.
Riley Day said: “Woolworths and the team within my local store in Beaudesert have been a great support as I prepared for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Now that I have achieved a personal best on the global stage, I’m grateful for the long term investment and commitment that Woolworths will provide to help me take the next stage in my athletics career as I set my sights on Paris 2024.
“Being an athlete and also a part of the Beaudesert Woolworths fruit and veg team I know how important eating Aussie fresh food plays in helping an athlete achieve their best. I’m pleased that through the partnership with Woolworths I can hopefully inspire others, particularly the next generation to pick fresh and play fresh as they pursue their passion.”
Riley will also help support Woolworths new scholarship program for its team members. The ‘Pick Fresh Play Fresh’ Team Grants will be available for Woolworths rising stars wishing to pursue their talents in either sport or the arts. Three team members will be selected each year to receive a $10,000 grant, helping them follow their dreams of performing on the global stage, whether it’s the Olympics or on Broadway.
Having experienced going from the fruit and veg department at Woolworths Beaudesert to racing against the worlds best at the Olympics, Riley will help select applicants from across the country to receive a ‘Pick Fresh Play Fresh’ Team Grant.
Woolworths Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks said: “We are incredibly proud of Riley and her journey over the past several years both on and off the track.
“Riley is a perfect example of the connection fresh food plays in performing at your best, for both Australian kids and our wider team. She has huge potential and we can’t wait to work with her to inspire a new generation of fresh food kids and see her take the next step in her promising athletic career.
“With more than 180,000 Woolworths team members across the country, we know there’s plenty more talent in our stores, distribution centres and support offices that deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and the ‘Pick Fresh Play Fresh’ Team Grants will help make these a reality.
“As Today’s Fresh Food People, we look forward to helping Riley on her journey towards Paris, as well as supporting more of our own rising stars as we continue to champion home grown Aussie talent.”
Prior to Tokyo, Woolworths worked closely with Riley to ensure she had flexibility in her work schedule to train and take on the world’s best in athletics. Woolworths also continued to pay her average weekly salary whilst on leave to represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Woolworths is the official Fresh Food Partner of the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Team. Woolworths also supports a wide range of community sports including Woolworths Cricket Blast, a grassroots cricket program, and junior surfing initiatives like Woolworths Surfer Groms Comps.
Last month, Woolworths announced the Pick Fresh Play Fresh Netball grants program for a third year, benefitting grassroots netball clubs and associations across the country. Close to a million dollars in funding has been provided to over 200 netball clubs over the past two years.