Calls for Woolworths to sponsor Riley Day after Olympics revelation

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Riley Day, pictured here at Woolworths before the Tokyo Olympics.
Riley Day funded her trip to the Olympics by working at her local Woolworths. Image: Getty/LinkedIn

Woolworths has been flooded with thousands of comments calling for the supermarket giant to sponsor Aussie Olympian Riley Day.

Day shot to superstardom at the Tokyo Olympics when she smashed her PB in the 200m semi-finals with a time of 22.56 seconds.

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The 21-year-old narrowly missed a spot in the star-studded final, but gave a tantalising glimpse of what she could achieve in the next few years.

But speaking to Channel 7 after the race, the Queenslander revealed she hasn't got a sponsor and funded her trip to the Olympics by working at her local Woolies in Beaudesert.

Channel 7 commentator Jason Richardson called on sponsors to get behind Day and offered the young sprinter the chance to plug herself on live TV.

"I mean, if you do want to follow my story, my Instagram is '_rileyday', that is where I post most of my stuff," she said.

"So, if you want to follow along, that is where it is."

The self-promotion certainly did the trick, with her Instagram following skyrocketing from 21,000 to over 90,000 at time of publishing.

Calls for Woolworths to sponsor Riley Day

But there are calls for Woolworths to step up and offer Day some sponsorship.

Woolworths' Facebook page has been flooded with comments calling for the supermarket giants to help out their employee, with similar comments on Twitter.

"Riley Day works at Woolies. She doesn’t have a sponsor," tweeted sports reporter Andrew Wu.

"Can’t help but think there’s an opportunity for an Australian supermarket giant here. Not sure who though."

Riley Day, pictured here in action in the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics.
Riley Day in action in the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Woolies replied to comments by saying: "We're exceptionally proud of Riley Day and her performance in Tokyo! Riley has been a valued team member in our Beaudesert store for a number of years and truly represents what it means to be part of today’s Fresh Food People. 

"We’ve implemented a number of measures (including continued financial support whilst she’s in Tokyo and a role in showcasing our partnership with the Australian Olympic Team) to help Riley succeed on and off the track. 

"We look forward to the opportunity of continuing our support as she takes the next steps on her athletics journey."

Woolworths were glowing in their praise for Day before the Olympics kicked off, revealing how she helps a 90-year-old customer do his shopping every week.

“Riley is an adored team member of our Beaudesert store in regional Queensland and is known for going the extra mile for our customers,” a post on LinkedIn read. 

“For the past 18 months, she’s helped 90-year-old local John, who is visually impaired, with his weekly shop. She’s even memorised his grocery list and calls him on Sundays if he doesn’t turn up for his weekly shop.

“When the ambitious 21-year-old, nicknamed the ‘Beaudesert Bullet’ is not replenishing stock or helping our customers, she’s working tirelessly on the track, training for at least three hours a day, six days a week."

A spokesperson for the supermarket also told Yahoo Sport Australia: "Woolworths offers extreme flexibility with Riley Day's work shifts to ensure she has the time and ability to train to compete on the world athletics stage.

"Woolworths has continued to pay her average weekly salary whilst on leave to represent the country at the Olympic Games.

"Riley has also been compensated for any marketing materials she’s been a part of to support Woolworths partnership with the Australian Olympics Team, whether it’s our Australian Olympic Team activity or content on Channel 7 during the Games."

with AAP

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