Nicola Ryan


Coming from a sports development background, Nicola started as the School Sport Director in September 2011. Nicola feels privileged to work with within a borough and Sports Partnership that do so much to provide sporting opportunities for their young people. She gained a degree with honours in Sports Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham in 2001. Nicola plays Netball for Worcester Park NC and is a level 2 UKCC Netball Coach. In 2009 she set up and developed the Merton Merlins Junior Netball Club.

Me in 3 words: determined, problem-solver, tall

Colette Birch

Admin and Finance Officer

Colette joined the MSSP team in March 2015 as the team's Admin and Finance Assistant. She enjoys supporting MSSP and helping out at events.

She has a BA (Hons) Degree in Geography and has previously worked in the HR team for an engineering company. She has previously played badminton at club level and played in the Surrey League.

Me in 3 words: helpful, dedicated and supportive

Tom Gardner

Deputy Director and Specialist Sports Provision

Tom has been with the Merton School Sport Partnership since 2009 and has had a range of roles during his time. This year Tom is continuing the role of Deputy Director as well being responsible for the Merton SSP coaching programme, ensuring that PE and sporting activity delivered by MSSP coaches is of the highest quality.

Tom graduated from his Sports Psychology and Coaching Sciences degree at Bournemouth University in 2009. He takes a keen interest in all sports, particularly football and cricket. His claim to fame is taking a hat-trick off the first three balls of an innings. When Tom is not watching the beautiful game (Spurs on TV) he is captaining his Saturday side to victory.

Me in 3 words: personable, creative, hard-working

Becky Forshaw

Sports Coordinator - Morden Cluster and Inclusion

Becky has been with the Merton SSP team since September 2011 and leads on inclusion as well as the Morden cluster of schools. Becky graduated in 2000 with a BA Hons in Sports Studies & Health Studies at St Martin’s College, Lancaster. Her first role was working for the Preston Sports Development Team as a Community Sports Coach, then progressing to Physical Activity Development Officer and Physical Activity Referral Officer. Becky then pursued to work in SSPs, and for the past 4 years has worked for the Croydon Sports Partnership as the Partnership Co-ordinator.

Becky holds an array of sport qualifications which include a UKCC Level 2 in Football and Level 1s in Multi Skills, Hockey, Athletics, Badminton and Rounders. She is also a qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer in Health and Fitness as well as GP Referral qualified for dealing with health and fitness for clients with clinical conditions. She is a sports enthusiast, regularly participating in various activities and is currently the ladies 1st team captain for Croydon Hockey Club. Her greatest achievement is winning the British Colleges Hockey Tournament 2 years running whilst at Preston College.

Me in 3 words: energetic, honest, team player

Matt Walters

Sport Coordinator, Raynes Park Cluster and Professional Development

Matt began his role as Sports Coordinator in September 2014. Matt leads on the Merton Inspire & Educate PE Development Programme and is responsible for the Raynes Park cluster of schools, organising and delivering various sporting events.

Matt graduated from his BSc Psychology degree at Newcastle University in July 2012 and has recently completed his MSc degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology at Brunel University. Matt is a sports enthusiast but his main passion is Rugby Union. Playing from the age of seven, Matt has more recently been heavily involved in the coaching of other aspiring players. He is a Level 2 coach alongside being a coach educator for the Rugby Football Union. Matt has worked for 2 AVIVA premiership rugby clubs as well as the RFU in a variety of sporting initiatives such as the All Schools Programme, HITZ project and Princes Trust.

Me in 3 words: hard working, enthusiastic, motivated

Liz Berkeley

Sports Coordinator - Mitcham Cluster

Liz graduated from St Mary's University Twickenham, with a degree in Physical and Sports Education last summer. Since finishing her degree Liz moved to America to study for her masters in teaching and to play college soccer. Liz joined Merton Schools Sports Partnership in February as the coaching programme assistant however, as of September she has been promoted to lead the Mitcham Cluster as a School Sports Coordinator.

Liz enjoys playing a variety of sports and is currently playing for Crystal Palace Ladies Football Club.

Me in 3 words: sporty, competitive, hard-working

Michael Wood

Sports coordinator, Wimbledon Cluster and School Games Organiser

Michael started the role of Sports Coordinator and School Games Organiser (SGO) in September 2016. He is responsible for providing opportunities for children to compete in fixtures and tournaments within and between schools. Michael also co-ordinats the Wimbledon cluster of schools.

Michael graduated from Abertay University with a BSc in Sports Coaching and Sports Development in 2003. His first role was with Dundee Sports Development Section as Sports Administrator and then Sports Development Officer. Moving to Renfrewshire Sports Services in 2006, Michael worked there for ten years on a number of different projects and roles.

Michael has various coaching qualifications including Scottish Football Association Level 3, British Cycling Level 2 and Trail Cycle Leader. He is also a sports leader tutor for Levels 1-3, tutor for positive sports practise and a tutor trainer for the Bikeability road cycling award scheme. Michael enjoys playing many sports but particularly outdoor activities such as mountain biking and snowboarding.

Me in 3 words: smiley, positive and relaxed

Harry Short

School Sport Intern

Harry is currently reading BSc (Hons) Sports Manangement at Bournemouth University and is undergoing his placement year with MSSP. Harry will be implementing and developing the knowledge and skills that he has so far accumulated in his first two years at university, including Events Management and Managing Sport Development.

Harry is a cricket and football enthusiast and has even sacrificed a Christmas day so he could fly 24 hours to Melbourne to watch the Boxing Day test match first hand (much to the annoyance of his family). Harry regularly plays cricket and football at club level and has completed his Level 1 in Cricket.  He is currently working towards Level 2.

Harry is really excited to be joining the MSSP team this year and looks forward to helping out wherever he can.

Me in 3 words: enthusiastic, loyal and easy-going