Home / The Team

The Sparta Tennis features a coaching and training staff which we feel is unrivalled in New Zealand. Our coaching staff proudly coaches beginners all the way to national champions. We believe in employing a staff with a full range of experience and strengths to allow us to cater to players from any background and experience level. 

Dwayne Cleugh | Director and Senior Performance Coach 

  • 2016/17 Tennis Auckland Coach of the Year
  • Professional Tennis Registry Certified Pro
  • Tennis NZ Registered, Performance Coach
  • Tennis NZ Certified Hotshots Coach
  • ITF certified Referee
  • Tennis Auckland Region 12s Team Coach
  • Tennis New Zealand 12s Boys Team Coach

Dwayne was brought into the CPTC Elite Program 3.5 years ago with the goal of strengthening and expanding the program to a level comparable with European academies, to create an environment which was missing in Tennis in NZ. His studies in the technique of tennis at the highest level and his experience at academies throughout Europe make him a very rare commodity in this country, someone able to build both an academy and players of the absolute highest level. Prior to starting at CPTC and building Sparta Academy he took a contract role with Tennis NZ focused on coach development and education of the nations coaches, imparting the knowledge he gained from his international qualifications and studying at various Academies in Spain, UK, New Zealand and Eastern Europe.He spent the bulk of his time in Eastern Europe after finding their methods the most successful at producing top young players It was here Dwayne blended the Eastern styles, most famously employed by Spartak in Moscow, with more western cultures into a philosophy and training style that is now used at the Sparta Tennis Academy.

Chris Canady | Director & Senior Performance Coach

Chris moved to NZ from the US in March of 2016 to partner with Dwayne to build Sparta into the program and business it is today. He came highly certified:

  • PTR Certified Professional | Performance & Junior Development
  • ITF Level 1 Certified
  • ACE Certified (Mentored by Heath Waters)
  • Tennis NZ Registered, Performance Coach
  • Tennis NZ Certified Hotshots Coach
  • Bachelor of Sports Science (2007)

In addition to his certifications, Chris has extensive experience in every facet of the tennis business. Below is a timeline of his coaching stops:

  • 2008-2010 | Assistant Tennis Coach - Stony Brook University
  • 2010-2015 | High Performance Director - Pittsburgh Performance Tennis
  • 2012-2015 | Owner - DC Sports Training (Strength & Conditioning)
  • 2015-2016 | Head Tennis Coach - Missouri Western University 
  • 2016-Present | Director & Senior Performance Coach - Sparta Tennis

A few highlights from each of stop::

  • Helped SBU to a top #75 ranking for the first in program history
  • Personally coached over 30 athletes who went on to receive athletic scholarships to US colleges
  • Started DC Sports Training with two athletes by myself and grew it to over 100 with two full-time coaches 
  • Led MWU to its first winning season in over 20 years 
  • NZ 12U Girl’s team coach for the 2019 Australian December Showdown
  • Head coach for multiple NZ National Champions and age group #1’s

Chris’s coaching philosophy is simple, to help players chart their own path by teaching them the skills (technical, tactical, mental, physical) needed to take tennis as far as they choose. 

For more information or to enquire about lessons please contact Chris at:  Mobile | 0220425715 or chris@spartatennisacademy.com

Casyn Buchman | CPTC Head of Participation

  • USTA Player/Pro
  • Hot Shots, Cardio and Xpress
  • Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science

Casyn came to Sparta in October of 2016 fresh from a distinguished US college career at Washburn University where she captained two sports (tennis and basketball). She came to NZ to pursue her coaching career in a new environment and has excelled within our club and cardio programs. Because of this, she has taken over the leadership at CPTC of both programs and has done an amazing job. Casyn is in contact with the majority of our players and ensures a full range of options for all CPTC players. 

In addition to her tennis background, Casyn has a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science which she has used to run our lock down S&C program and provide assistance to Ben where needed. She also continues to play basketball to a high level. In 2019, she was part of the Auckland Dream team that won the NZ Basketball Championships. 

Briar Preston | Senior Performance Coach

  • ITF Level 1 (Currently in Progress)
  • NZ Travel Team Coach | 14U Girls and ITF Juniors 
  • Bachelor of Science, Sociology and Communications

Briar came to Sparta in January of 2020, after serving as a Regional Performance coach at Tennis Northern where she worked primarily with their 14U and high performance groups. She is one of the few coaches in NZ who has experienced the whole pathway for players. Starting in club tennis, moving into regional and national competition, then into international events, and finally finishing up in the the US college system. 

Briar was basically born with a tennis racquet in her hand. She started playing interclub at the age of 6 and before long she was representing New Zealand at the age of 11 at international events. Soon after, she was chosen to be part of the Junior Fed Cup team and to represent NZ at the prestigious ITF 14U World Teams Event. Between the ages of 11-15, Briar also managed to win a National title at every age group (12U,14U,16U,18U). 

Following all her early success, Briar then started to compete on the ITF circuit where she travelled the world playing tournaments, competing in Junior Grand Slams, and reaching a career high ranknig of #80 in the world. She capped off her junior career by being named to the NZ Women's Fed Cup team when she was 16. Transitioning from juniors, Briar decided to accept a full scholarship to attend the University of Arizona where she reached a career high ranking of #40 in singles and #15 in doubles. 

On top of all of her playing experience, Briar has spent considerable time learning about the game and has a keen aye for detail. Briar will mainly be coaching in our tournament player programs, but enjoys coaching all ages and abilities. 

Junior Fanguna | Junior Development Coach 

  • ITF Level 1 (Currently in Progress)

Junior first joined Sparta over 3 years ago as a hitting partner for several of our top players and assisting with squads. Since then, he has placed a big focus on his development as a coach and now coaches a wide ranger of players. From beginners, to national ranked juniors, and even adult classes. 

In addition to his coaching role, Junior is still a very active player competing in the Caro Bowl Reserve and Chelsea Cup competition. In 2019, he and his brother, Semisi Fanguna, made their home nation of Tonga very proud by teaming up to win gold in doubles at the Pacific Games held in Samoa. 

Ryan Eggers | Junior Development Coach 

  • ITF Level 1 (Currently in Progress)

After much convincing from Dwayne and Chris, Ryan finally moved up to Auckland from Dunedin in April 2019. Prior to Sparta, Ryan coached at the Edgar Center in Dunedin from 2015-2019 working under he and Dwayne's childhood coach, Julia Scott. Ryan is currently in the ITF Level 1 Junior Development Course with an expected finish to be later this year. 

In a short period of time, Ryan has firmly established himself as crucial to both the club and tournament player programs. 

On top of his coaching duties, Ryan is still an active player. He finished in the top 16 of the NZ Open Championships and is CPTC's current club champion. 

Grace Chen | Club Coach

We first spotted Grace playing a national Chinese tournament when she was living and studying in Queenstown. Grace has played at a very high level, representing her providence in China, the pinnacle for tennis players in China.

Grace really enjoys helping beginner juniors and adults find enjoyment on the court through teaching fundamentals in a low stress environment. Being bilingual, Grace provides valuable assistance on the administrative side of Sparta liaising between our many Chinese speaking clients. 

Carlos Reid | Club Coach

Carlos joined Sparta in October of 2020 fresh off finishing his Law degree from Otago University. For at least the time being, he has decided to trade in the court room for the tennis court and he is going to be a great addition to the team.

Ben Sinnamon | Strength and Conditioning Coach

  • BPhEd. Sport and exercise science Otago
  • REPs Registered Exercise Professional 
  • C.H.E.K. Practitioner Level 1

Ben is the Academies fitness trainer whose background is in sports specific training, primarily in younger athletes. He studied Physical Education and specialised in this area, spending a year at the University of Texas to further his education in the sports specific field. His niche is explosive small court sports. Prior to Sparta he worked with Netball Waikato’s talent development program and in the US he was able to spend time with the international basketball players and NBA training staff. Ben’s training is holistic from teaching the kids how to breath, warm-up, stretch, strengthen body parts for injury prevention all on top of increasing the kids’ functional strength, fitness, balance, coordination and explosiveness.

Dwayne Cleugh
Director and High Performance Coach
Chris Canady
Senior High Performance Coach
Nathan Carter
Senior High Performance Coach
Neil Carter
Senior High Performance Coach
Mandy Branks
Junior Development Coach
Casyn Buchman
Junior Development and Adult Progressing Coach
Ben Sinnamon
Strength and Conditioning Coach