A local sports coach has received a national award in recognition of his work supporting young people with disabilities to get involved in sport and physical activity.
Temi Johnson, from Disability Sports Coach (DSC), is this year’s winner of StreetGames’ Coach of the Year Award.
Based in London, DSC uses the unique power of sport to enhance the lives of disabled people. Its network of award-winning Inclusive Community Sports Clubs bring disabled people together across the city to keep active and connected, with specialist and inclusive coaching to ensure everyone can take part.
Temi is disabled and, from an early age, had a passion for sports as a spectator and player. It’s a drive that led him to become a volunteer at Disability Sports Coach (DSC) through a college placement and to stay on with DSC after leaving college.
Starting out as a volunteer coach, Temi assisted with Club sessions, demonstrating his knowledge of adapted sports, his understanding of disabled participants and his spirit of inclusivity. From day one, Temi has been determined that no one is left out of sport.
In 2019, he became a qualified Level 1 Football Coach, and in 2023, he achieved a Level 2 Coaching Multi-Skills qualification, overcoming a learning difficulty to succeed. After gaining his Level 2 qualification, Temi was offered a job as a paid coach with DSC while continuing to provide his services as a volunteer. Temi’s outstanding personal qualities set him apart from others.
Hugh Elsegood, DSC’s Former Head of Service Delivery, said:
“Temi is extremely popular amongst his peers due to his genuine passion and enthusiasm for sports coaching. He displays the vital attributes of patience, support and empathy when working with disabled participants.”
“Temi is the consummate sports coach, being organised, punctual, polite and professional.”
DSC’s Project Officer Hannah Paton said:
“Temi is one of the most insightful coaches I have met about disability sports. From the moment someone walks through the sports hall door, Temi has already realised how he will make the sports session inclusive for them.”
Speaking of his work with DSC, Temi said:
“I enjoy seeing participants progressing whatever their abilities are and seeing them learning new skills, making new friends and enjoying themselves. As a disabled person, I know that sometimes people may not want to try something as they don’t want to fail. It is important to remember that the smallest step forward is an improvement, even if that means just attending the session.”
Mark Lawrie, Chief Executive of StreetGames, said:
“Inspirational coaches like Temi make such a difference in the lives of young people. We know that for far too many disabled people access to sport and physical activity is off limits, so the incredible work that Temi and Disabilty Sports Coaches do is incredibly important.
Temi’s commitment, energy, and positive attitude mark him out as an exceptional coach and we’re delighted to be able to honour his work in this year’s national awards.“