SMART Way Forward is a specialist leadership, management, sales, customer service, skills development and training consultancy, with a team which works specifically within the commercial sport, leisure, health and fitness industry.
The company was founded in 2011 by Managing Director Nadeem Shaikh, to bring together his wealth of experience in leadership, management, sales and training, with his great passion and enthusiasm for sport.
A former track and road runner, Nadeem has represented his County, Region and Country at a number of different international competitions, including the European Junior & Senior Clubs Cup Championships. Nadeem balanced top-level competition with carving out a highly successful business career; holding sales, senior management and directorship positions within companies including Disney, Dudley Stationery, Micro Warehouse, Reed Elsevier, Leisure Media and The Nichem Group.
He holds qualifications in leisure studies, retail, sales, marketing and distribution, together with a number of business diplomas – including a European Business Certificate in Business, Retail, Sales & Marketing.
After hanging up his competitive running shoes, Nadeem remained with Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, the club he has been a member of for over 35 years. He trained and became a qualified level 3 performance endurance coach and coached for over 20 years. Lots of the athletes he worked with alongside his own coach, progressed to compete at major championships and international competitions, including Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Nadeem established himself as a successful performance coach and spent a few years on the National Coach Development Programme (NCDP) with England Athletics, learning new innovations, techniques and skills from some very well respected World class coaches.
In 2000 Nadeem helped train Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas to run the London Marathon, and ran alongside him carrying a tv camera. His Blue Peter badge still sits proudly alongside his other athletics trophies & memorabilia today.
Nadeem spent many years on the Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers committee, with responsibility for the promotion and organisation of road racing events. This included recruiting and managing more than 80 volunteers for various events within the London Marathon Portfolio – including the Virgin Money Giving London Marathon, Mini London Marathon, The Adidas Women’s 5k Challenge, The Corporate City Race, The BUPA 10k and The London Lord Mayor’s Mile race.
In November 2011, Nadeem was appointed Vice President of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers on a three-year term in recognition of his achievements and contribution during his time with the club.
At the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games, Nadeem was an official Olympics Games Maker Team Leader. He managed and coordinated teams of up 45 marshals at any one time, at events such as the men’s, women’s and Paralympics road cycling events and the men’s and women’s road marathons.
Nadeem has helped many athletes and coaches of all ages and abilities achieve their dreams and aspirations. He worked with many athletics clubs in London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridge. Since moving to Shropshire in early 2022, he is now doing the same in the West Midlands too. Nadeem is well established and reputed within the athletics community around the UK, and when Birmingham hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2022, he was there supporting many athletes and friends across various different sports around the city.
Nadeem and his team at SMART Way Forward are very well respected within the UK sports industry. Together they have built up a very impressive list of contacts over the years, including those working at senior management level within local authorities, national governing bodies (NGBs), active partnerships, leisure operators, various sports leisure and health clubs, universities, colleges and academies. They also have excellent working relationships with a variety of nationwide associations and government organisations.
So, if you are looking for a training consultancy that really knows and understands the commercial sport, leisure, health and fitness sector, one which specialises in successfully developing people through bespoke onsite and online training, covering areas such as leadership, management, communication skills, sales, customer service, strategic focus, coach development, high performance and equality diversity and inclusivity (EDI) – then look no further than SMART Way Forward.