MANILA, Philippines -- Acee San Juan, the rugby development manager for the Philippines, was recently selected as an official Asia Rugby "Unstoppable" ambassador for the region.
The Unstoppables campaign is aligned with International Women's Month, celebrating and recognizing the importance of women in the sport and how they have helped influence the development of rugby across the region.
A total of 84 nominees were nominated from across Asia, which was then brought down to 32, and a final nomination of 16 to represent the region.
In a statement, Philippine Rugby said it was honored that San Juan was chosen as one of the ambassadors.
"Acee has been tremendous to our development program, she’s a role model to all sports managers. Her passion, work ethic, and expertise in her role have ensured Philippine Rugby continues to grow," said Jake Letts, Philippine Rugby’s chief executive.
"Witnessing Acee as a beginner of the game, and now a national lead educator, her advocacy covers a range of areas across the entire rugby community," he added. "To be recognized by Asia Rugby is a great achievement, and very well deserved."
As she takes on the role, San Juan is looking forward to encouraging more women to get involved with rugby -- whether as a player, coach, match official, administrator, or supporter.
"Rugby has given me so much in life and helped me develop to the person I am now, and I am excited to share these experiences to the wider rugby family," she said.
First introduced to the sport via a touch football program at the University of the Philippines, San Juan went on to represent the national team and became the team captain from 2014 to 2017, leading the national program to their first-ever bronze medal at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.
In 2012 she was hired as a development officer, and for the past four years, she has led the development program as the union’s rugby development manager. San Juan has also been an integral representative for Philippine Rugby for the ChildFund Pass It Back Program, in charge of managing and teaching rugby values and life skills to marginalized communities.
She also plays a significant role within her local club, Eagles RFC