NZTA was established in 2008 by Gerrit Steenkamp and Guillaume Gignoux. In combination, we have more than 20 years of experience in the tennis industry. We began working for Waikato Tennis Association in 2003. Gerrit retired from tennis in 2018.
We now have a team of 4 coaches working full or part time.
At HTA, we coach kids between the ages of 5and 18 years old, from beginners to high performance players, adults and anyone who wants some help to improve. Our general goal is to give our players opportunities for greater life skills, and for those who are high achievers, the chance to obtain scholarships in the United States.
We are based at St Peters Tennis club (Palmerston rd) and Hamilton Squash and Tennis Club (HSTC on tristram street)
Our programmes focus on technical, tactical, psychological and physical components to build a complete player. Our available programmes include Hot Shots (beginners), coaching for Juniors and Elite squads and Holiday camps. Our programmes have been very successful with a total of 30 national titles won in singles and over 40 players went to study in America on a tennis scholarship.
I grew up in a small town called Hyvinkää in Finland. Moving to New Zealand has been a dream for me for many years, so I made a decision to come to Raglan to make those dreams come true.
I started to play tennis with my parents and brother when I was around 5 years old. My family always made sure to travel with tennis rackets, so on every holiday we would spend a lot of time at the tennis courts. When I was 10, I began to play regularly in a local club and started to compete right away!
I played quite seriously until I was 17-18 years old – when I suffered an injury to my back. It took a long time to heal, and made competitive play difficult. I ended up coaching more to stay as involved as possible with the sport that I love. I represented my club for Finnish National League for many years and played tournaments in Finland, Germany and Estonia.
Coaching started as only a summer job for me when I was 13, but quite soon I found myself coaching a few times a week so I could play for free. When I finished school it became my full-time job until I started studying at the Uni, at which point I coached only part-time again so I could focus on my studies.
I grew up with tennis, and from the very beginning I have had a passion for it! It has given me so much – my friends, my profession, opportunities to travel, and many great memories. Now, I am here in New Zealand – my dream destination – and I’m excited to be working with my passion once again!
I am from Bordeaux in the South-West of France. I have played tennis since I was four years old. I started hitting against a wall at a tennis club because they did not accept kids younger than six years old, but I was hitting the ball ok so they put me in the club coaching classes when I was five. I started coaching when I was 12. It was part of my contract with my club – they were giving me some training for free but I had to help with club tennis.
My dream was to win the French Open but a ski accident combined with a weak knee made me realize at the age of 14 that I did not have a chance. It does not mean that without injury I would have made it (I don’t think I would have) but I would have tried for a few more years.
I started coaching full-time in 1999 with the French Federation and moved to New Zealand in 2005 where I started working with Gerrit at Waikato tennis. Fifteen years later we are still here.
People asked me for years when I would go back? The answer: I won’t. I love New Zealand too much and I couldn’t leave players that I have coached for years.
Since coming to New Zealand, I have lived in Raglan. I still live there; down a gravel road, in front of the Tasman sea, off-the-grid, with my beautiful family.
Guillaume is sponsored by Wilson.
I was born in Gisborne, however I have lived in Hamilton for majority of my life. I was a late bloomer to tennis, only discovering my love for the sport in my early teenage years. This love quickly turned into a passion, I ended up walking to the tennis courts from school every afternoon just so that I could play with the seniors from club and to train competitively.
Coaching opportunities started to present themselves with the first being helping with the local junior club nights. It was awesome and satisfying seeing new players grow their love for tennis, and from there I knew I wanted to coach tennis as part of my future profession.
I have played regionally for both New Zealand and for one year in England where I went to work in a school. While working in England I was able to work with the coaches in the area gaining some valuable experience.
Currently I am working towards my tennis coaching qualification and studying for a bachelor of business in the University of Waikato. I am looking forward to helping tennis players in the Waikato develop the same passion that I have for this sport.