Meet the Coaches

Dan Brown

NZ Registered Tennis Coach
Junior Development Coaching Certificate
Head Coach Pakuranga Tennis Club 2018-present

Dan was born in Auckland and started tennis at the age of 4. Tennis has been a part of his life for 26 years and during that time his experience came from international players/coaches/tournaments.

He transitioned into coaching after returning from a few years playing professional futures tournaments in China, Germany, France, Turkey and Australia. After a few years coaching at various clubs in Auckland he landed the position of head coach at the Pakuranga Tennis Club.

After 6 years of coaching, Dan has started the Hello Tennis Academy which will be NZ’s first free tennis academy for juniors.

Outside of tennis he enjoys playing golf, watching and supporting a range of sports and relaxing with friends.

Best opponent ever faced: Alexander Zverev (current world number 7).

Hilary Woodham

Tennis NZ ITF Level 1 Certificate Junior Development Coaching
Bachelor of Science – Biological Sciences and Psychology
Tennis NZ Fundamentals of Coaching
Skills Active Sports Coach Certified

Hilary started playing tennis at the age of 4 and enjoyed playing competitively from the age of 12 through regional and national competitions.

After university and travelling the world playing socially she returned to New Zealand to pursue tennis competitively.  She fell in love with coaching and encouraging others to play.  Seeing players progress is extremely rewarding and with a sharp eye and understanding of the game from all aspects, Hilary has developed a large range of players.

She has completed her ITF Level 1 Junior Development Certificate where she learnt many skills to add to her programmes.

Core skills:

Played ITF pro circuit- Trained with an elite WTA coach in Japan – International exposure to tennis at a high level – able to coach all levels of the game – specialises in coaching in developing young girls – great communicator with all ages.

Rakesh Rai

Tennis NZ Club Professional Coach 
Competition Coach
NZ Professional Tennis Coaches Association (NZPTCA)

Rakesh is extremely passionate about tennis. He enjoys working with players at all levels, whether they are New Zealand representatives or starting tennis for the first time. He works hard to keep tennis players motivated while both on and off the court and likes to keep tennis simple while also working on the technical side through stroke fundamentals.

Rakesh has over 30 years of experience coaching tennis locally, nationally and internationally.  He has traveled with players to international academies in Germany, Netherlands, France, USA and Australia and coached players at the Summer European Junior Superstars Tour.  He has worked with players at various overseas Junior International tournaments (ITF) from grades 1 to 5 and grade A and coached at numerous academies including 4 years at camps with IMG Bollettieri Tennis.

He has also worked with a number of successful college players, coached title winners in junior tournaments both nationally and internationally, coached professional tennis players to tournament title victories in both Singles and Doubles, worked with every level of player from just beginner to professional and coached players at junior Grand Slams.

Tennis is a huge passion of his and he is very much looking forward to contributing to the Hello Tennis Academy.

Troy Turnbull

Professional Club Coach
Head Coach Remuera Racquets Club 2002-2016 Crossfit Trainer Certified

Troy grew up playing junior tennis in New Zealand, after studying in the US on a tennis scholarship , he embarked on a short lived professional career playing tennis. Tennis took Troy to Germany where he played club matches and began his career in coaching . 30 years later he’s still coaching and enjoying the profession more than ever.

While technique has developed over the years , many attributes to learning to play good tennis have remained the same, a coach must play their role to inspire and coach players to fall in love with the game, that elusive mixture of fun and hard work must be found. Fitness should be incorporated into every session. These critical attributes to great training flourish best in a group atmosphere.

‘I’m excited to help Dan create an academy where the students can achieve as a group but maintain their own individual flair to become the best they can be’.

Best opponent ever faced- Michael Chang (former World No.2).

Proudly sponsored by Wingate Architects

NZ’s First Free Academy!

Meet the Physios & Dietitian

Chris PrenticeChris Prentice-Physio

BSc Science – Sport and Exercise
MPhil – Sport and Exercise
Mphys – Physiotherapy Pre-Reg

Area of interest: Musculoskeletal physiotherapy – functional range conditioning and maximizing joint function and performance.

Originally from the North East of Scotland, it was the lure of NZ rugby that brought Chris south. He moved here in 2006 and it was a few big injuries whilst down in Palmerston North that resulted in a switch over to study physiotherapy. Since moving to Auckland to work in Grey Lynn as a private physio, he has got into exploring the Hauraki in the search of dinner as well as both free and scuba diving. He is personally training in the gym daily and striving to get back into shape to play rugby again.

Both personally and professionally his interests lie in physical preparation and recovery and he looks forward to being able to contribute to the tennis performance of the Academy players.

Anna Wishnowsky – Physio

BSc Physiology
Trainer & Sports Nutritionist

Anna’s love for strength and conditioning stems from a diverse athletic background. Her focus is on developing sport-specific strength and mobility using functional range conditioning and preparing athletes for their sporting demands.

She enjoys working with youth athletes to help them accelerate their results and avoid the mistakes she made when she was in their shoes.

Outside of coaching, you can find Anna lifting heavy things and training for gymnastics.

Dane Baker-Dietitian

NZ Registered Dietitian
BSc Human Nutrition
Dip Sporting Performance
PG Dip Diet
IOC Dip Sports Nutrition (Distinction)

Dane is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian who has worked extensively with New Zealand’s leading athletes and sporting organisations over the past 10 years. After graduating from Otago University in 2003 Dane worked clinically as a Diabetes Dietitian for the Waitemata DHB before becoming immersed in sports nutrition.

In 2008 he worked abroad in Qatar where he was a sports nutrition specialist at ASPETAR, a world-leading FIFA sports medicine facility. Since returning to New Zealand in 2009 he has worked with The Chiefs rugby team, where he was part of their back to back titles in 2012 & 2013 and has been part of setting up an innovative research program with Otago and Waikato Universities, which drives many of the nutrition and sports medicine interventions the Chief’s team use.  In recent years Dane has shifted allegiances closer to home to the Blues where he is currently the Sports Dietitian (2019-Current).

Dane has worked extensively with High Performance Sport New Zealand where he was a Senior Performance Nutritionist from 2010-2020. He was the lead nutritionist for the All Blacks and Black Ferns 7’s Team and previously NZ Men’s Hockey Team, NZ Swimming (2010-2018) and the Football Ferns. Dane was the NZOC  Support team Dietitian for the Rio Olympics (2016) and the Gold Commonwealth Games (2018).

He is currently part of the specialist multidisciplinary initiative WHISPA  (Woman’s Health, a performance advantage), which is a dedicated group of specialists working to optimise female health and performance through research and education. Dane is involved with numerous research projects at the University of Otago where he is professional fellow and lecturer in the Human Nutrition Department. Outside of work, he is a passionate golfer, surfer and a developing fisherman when he doesn’t have his hands full looking after his young family.

Meet the College Recruiter

Amrit Rai

Bachelor of Commerce (, Management/Political Science

Amrit is the Director and Head Recruiter of Platform Sports Management. He has personally placed over 90 athletes over the last five years and secured more than 20 million in scholarships for his athletes. The company has worked with athletes from different parts of the world including Finland, Czech Republic, Saipan, Tahiti, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.

Platform Sports Management assists secondary students in gaining a USA college sports scholarship.
It works directly with professional coaches, academies and schools in both New Zealand and Australia. They work hard to provide the best possible service for the student-athletes and making sure the USA college process is stress-free for them.

Outside of tennis Amrit enjoys going to the beach, playing golf, camping and is very much into his fitness.

To request to join Hello Tennis Academy, please go on to our sign-up page and fill in the form. We will be in touch to advise on your eligibility to join.