Meet The Coaches
Rachel Gwerder
Director of Development

Has over 25 years of experience as a coach, has spent the majority of this time in full-time employment in player development. Has led the development programmes at following associations, North Harbour, Waikato, Otago and Tauranga. Was employed by Basketball New Zealand as the South Island Coach and Player Development Officer. Mentor Coach on BBNZ Koru Tour for 15+ years. Coached for many years within National Programme from NZ U16’s through to the Tall Fern’s. Has coached and developed a huge stable of players through to National Age-Group and Tall Fern’s and Tall Black level.

Recipient of following BBNZ Awards - Carolyn Grey Coaching Scholarship, Prime Minister Scholarship,  Merit Award for 10 years service, Services to Women's Basketball

Recipient of Australian Country Junior Cup Services to Basketball.

Audz Abbot
Development Officer - Eastern Bays

Audz has extensive history in the game, playing at all levels, including internationally as a Tall Fern (NZ Women's Team). She has worked in the fitness industry for many years, previously at Les Mills, and now owning personal gym in Whakatane. Audz takes a leadership role in Whakatane. She has all the BBNZ required certification in coaching and is authorised to lead Kiwi Hoops and Community Hoop Coaching Course on behalf of BBNZ. She is working towards getting refereeing certification also.  Her aim is to be that coach who is fully up with the play for the betterment of any team she coaches. Her coaching style is to ensure each player benefits, improves, learns and has an enhanced love for the game.

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Cairyn Rogers
Contracted Coach

As daughter of Rachel Gwerder and Mark Rogers (GM), Cairyn was born into the sport of basketball. She attended her first training at 4 days old, seated comfortably in her car seat, safely contained behind a soccer goal net. Cairyn attended Te Puna School and Aquinas College. Cairyn has represented TCBA as a player since 2010, including being a member of U23 and WBC / D-League Teams since the age of 15. She has been involved in Representative coaching for 6 years, which is impressive considering age. Cairyn participated as a player on the Koru Tour three times, returned to take on an admin role in 2018, and started coaching on the tour in 2019.

Chelseah Savage
Contracted Coach

Chelseah has returned to her hometown of Tauranga after many years of playing in the Waikato region, and four years in the States. As a player she has been a key member of teams that have won multiple BBNZ National Tournaments. Out on court, Chelseah constantly demonstrates outstanding leadership skills, a high work output and an advanced level of basketball intelligence. Add the above attributes to her desire to have a positive impact on the players she coaches, TCBA are blessed to have her return home.

Gee Cooney
Contracted Coach

A proud local Ngati-ranginui & Ngati-kahungunu descent. Both knowledge and passion for the game were developed through Te Puna School, Otumoetai College, and the Representative Programme. As a player, Gee attended three Koru Tours 95-97, and coming full circle returned to the tour in 2017 as a coach. She has coached school basketball and representative basketball locally, as well as in Australia, where she was based for 2 years. Has a certificate in both Health/Fitness and Sports Leadership from Te Wananga o Aotearoa. 

Igor Cvjetkovic
Contracted Coach

Born and raised in Serbia where he learned the importance of footwork and strong fundamentals. As a player, Igor was a part of Tauranga Boys College “Titans” from 2015-2017, while currently playing for the TCBA’s U23 and Men’s team. From early 2018 he’s been studying Bachelor of Sport and Recreation while coaching Representative Teams. So far Igor has attended 2 Basketball New Zealand National Selection camps, where he was involved with U15 Boys. January 2020, Igor also gained his first international experience while attending the Koru Tour as a U14  Boys coach.

Mel has coached at all levels - individual, school, rep and National. She has had extensive international travel and uses technology to help create and build culture, game and individual development. She has coached for TCBA, Western Bay and Tauranga Bask
Mel Bennett
Contracted Coach

Mel has coached at all levels - individual, school, rep and National. She has had extensive international travel and uses technology to help create and build culture, game and individual development. She has coached for TCBA, Western Bay and Tauranga Basketball for 25 years