Western Bay of Plenty principals have secured a year's funding for a primary and intermediate sports director.
Without the $140,000, more than 40 activities on the school sports calendar could have been lost.
Pillans Point School principal Matt Simeon said Sport Bay of Plenty let go of their sports co-ordinator during a restructure post-Covid-19 lockdown.
The school sports director is in charge of the primary and intermediate sports calendar for all the "beyond school" and cluster events, including swimming sports, cross country and athletics.
There are about 45 events throughout the year.
"We need to have these opportunities for kids," he said. "These kids can't miss out."
Simeon said Sport Bay of Plenty supported the Western Bay of Plenty Principals' Association to apply for a Tu Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund worth $60,000 towards keeping the role.
Simeon also reached out to the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, Western Bay Energy for Education Trust and dipped into the school sports levy.
In the end, he was able to secure $140,000 worth of funding for a 12-month fixed-term contract. Julian Clements from Ebbett Tauranga also donated a new ute and other businesses, including Kukri Clothing, Kale Print and Core Design also pitched in.
"Without it, events would have been pushed back onto schools, which would have been more pressure on individual schools who may not have the manpower to make it happen.
"You would have lost that whole calendar of events."
Simeon said the aim was to secure further funding for a possible three-year contract.
"It's about providing opportunities for all kids through different avenues."
Meet the new Western Bay of Plenty sports director
Katherine Hampton applied for the Western Bay of Plenty sports director role in November last year.
"I wanted to get out in the community and do something that felt meaningful and worthwhile," she said.
The 27-year-old said she was "very excited" to have secured the role.
"Without it, some kids wouldn't have the opportunity, so to be able to put it out there and see the smiles on the kids faces is pretty rewarding in itself."
Hampton said she played sports throughout high school and studied sport and recreation management at Lincoln University.
"I have and always will play sport because I love it," she said.
"Sport is great for learning social skills and resilience."
Sport Bay of Plenty's active young people team leader, Calvin Buttimore, said securing funding for the role was an "outstanding win" for the community.
"There was a period where it wasn't clear who might be able to continue it," he said.
Buttimore said the organisation would support Hampton in her role.
"We will do everything we can to make sure the system succeeds."
He said Sport New Zealand's Tu Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund was an integral fund that helped "get the ball rolling".
"You take a system and a role like Katherine's away and those opportunities don't take place.
"That would be a huge loss for the community and for each child who loves these events."
Buttimore said Sport Bay of Plenty was grateful the Western Bay of Plenty Principals' Association had taken over ownership of the primary and intermediate sports events.
"We're committed to supporting them over the long-term to make sure our tamariki continue to have these experiences."
Ebbett Tauranga dealer principal Julian Clements said providing the opportunity for children in the Western Bay to enjoy a range of sports was a great intuitive.
"We were rapt to be able to provide support."
WBOP Principals' Association
Ebbett TGA - Brand new Isuzu D Max for the role
Kukri Clothing - Uniform
Core Design - Branding and design work for the ute, letterheads etc
Kale Print - vehicle sign writing