Sian Williams, Welsh national rugby player and a serving member of the Royal Air Force has been named in the 2016 BBC 100 women list.
Each year the BBC publishes a list of inspirational and influential women from around the world and this year Sian joins the list alongside, Simone Biles, the American Olympic gold medal winning gymnast and Alicia Keys.
Sian who is based at MOD St Athan, was granted elite athlete status earlier this year by the Royal Air Force. This meant she was able to become the first Welsh professional female rugby player, whilst continuing to serve in the RAF.
Recently Sian has captained the Welsh team at the latest round of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Dubai.
“It’s a huge honour to be in the top 100, back in February when I became a full-time rugby player I never expected anything like this. If I help to inspire women out there to play sport or just live their dreams then that’s an added bonus.
“Being selected is a huge privilege and I would never have achieved this without the continued support from the Royal Air Force.”
The Station Commander at St Athan, Wing Commander Kiley Pescott said:
“This has been an excellent year for SAC Williams seeing her represent not only her league side Newport Gwent Dragons, but more significantly representing Wales in the last Six Nations Competition.
“The Royal Air Force actively encourages all its personnel to engage in sports and this has certainly been the case for SAC Williams. We wish her all the very best for the future.”
The BBC 100 Women was established in October 2013 to examine the role of women in the twenty-first century. In addition to household names the list also includes less well-known names such as Jeanette Winterson the novelist and Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya from Swaziland, the first woman Anglican bishop in Southern Africa, this year.
Sian Williams was born in Wrexham and has been playing rugby since she was eight. She made her debut with the Wales women's rugby union team against Scotland in the 2011 Women's Six Nations Championship. Away from rugby, Sian joined the RAF in 2008 as a logistics mover.
Editor: Squadron Leader Peter Singlehurst
MOD Crown Copyright 2016