Wow, what a season of sport! The London 2012 Olympic Games were just phenomenal from start to finish and at SMART Way Forward, we loved every second of it!
Having worked with so many sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs) over the years, it was great to see so many of the athletes and coaches we have helped performing so well on the greatest sports stage on earth.
Huge congratulations to all the Team GB athletes, players, coaches and support staff who pulled together and achieved their dreams. We are all extremely proud of you for finishing third on the Olympic medal table.
Well done also to Lord Coe, Paul Deighton and the teams at LOCOG for organising such an amazing, safe, secure and enjoyable Olympic Games. The venues were absolutely fantastic and the atmosphere was incredible, no matter what time of day or where you were.
However, a special thank you has to go to all the 60,000 volunteer Games Makers (marshals) who gave up their time to ensure that everyone who attended the Games had the most enjoyable and memorable experience possible. Without these Games Makers, the Olympic & Paralympics Games would not have been as successful as they were.
For a few of the team at SMART Way Forward, the Olympic & Paralympics Games were even more memorable and special as we were Team Leader Games Makers working with marshals at events such as the road cycling, and the men’s and women’s marathons events.
At the Olympic Road cycling events, we were Team Leaders responsible for the training and coordination of around 40 Games Makers spread along parts of the race route around Surrey.
Games Makers were lining the route to ensure the safety of the spectators, but most of all to protect the course (or Field of Play) so that all the athletes were safe and secure during competition. The Olympic road cycling race route began in central London, taking in some of the most iconic landmarks around the city before working its way out towards the Surrey countryside through beautiful villages such as Pyrford, Ripley and the famous Box Hill.
At the men’s and women’s Olympic & Paralympic Marathon events, Nadeem Shaikh, Managing Director of SMART Way Forward was acting Team Leader near a crossing section between The Mall, Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square. Nadeem, together with his team of nine Games Maker marshals made sure this section was controlled and managed effectively to ensure athlete protection and public safety when the race was going running past.
This would be the first time in history that an Olympic or Paralympics Marathon would not be finishing in the Olympic Stadium. However, when you have a magnificent city like London as a backdrop, it is easy to see why the Olympic organisers decided to chose a route consisting of one small lap of 2.2 miles, plus three large loops of eight miles around the Capital, taking in iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, Westminster, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Marble Arch, to name but a few. We have to say, London looked absolutely spectacular in the sunshine!
The team at SMART Way Forward also spent time working and relaxing at the Olympic Park, Olympic Stadium, Cycling Veledrome and the Aquatics Centre. The atmosphere was electric in every venue and it is so inspiring to see how sport can change the lives of so many people, regardless of their colour, creed or background. Everyone came together to enjoy the Greatest Show on Earth – and London definitely delivered.
Our experience of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was extremely special and something we will never forget. Not only to see the coaches and athletes we have worked with achieving their dreams – but to see how sport can truly inspire a nation and bring together communities.
We have often said that your goals are just dreams with a deadline and that anything can be achieved with PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). So when you see all the hard work, sacrifices, training and commitment come together to produce a performance that changes an athlete’s life forever – it really is hugely inspirational.