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Contribution: The intrinsic value and importance of a sense of belonging

Contributing is one dimension within John O’Brien’s ‘5 Dimensions of Inclusion Theory’. So what is contributing and how is it best described?

What is Contributing?

Contributing is the ability and freedom to give of ourselves; whether that be contributions of money, time, help, support, or one of our personal and unique gifts.

When we think about contributing in a sporting sense, it’s easy to focus on the monetary contributions – paying fees or sponsoring a local club. However, contributing comes in many forms, and it’s important to recognise and appreciate the personal and unique gifts that every individual has to offer. These gifts can take the form of knowledge, information, and past experiences that can help contribute in the form of volunteering, coaching, managing, and administration with the intention of making your club environment all the more positive.

Inclusion pyramid diagram

Above: The inclusion pyramid.

The Benefits of Contributing

While it’s easy to see how much a club benefits from people’s time, money, support, information, and knowledge, it’s important to remember that contributing is not a one-way street. The intrinsic value of contribution lies in how much it can impact someone’s sense of belonging and identity at the club. When individuals feel valued and appreciated for the gifts they bring, they develop a sense of belonging and pride in their community. It becomes a reciprocal relationship fulfilling both the club and the individual’s needs.


The Role of Clubs in Promoting Contributing

Clubs have an important role to play in promoting contribution. By recognising and appreciating the unique gifts of their members, clubs can create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all. Clubs can actively seek out opportunities for members to contribute and ensure that all members’ contributions are valued and recognised. The benefits of contributing are twofold; it helps the club and the individual.


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