Dennis Newton’s Brief Biography

Extracts taken from the World Paddle Awards 2015…Finalist for the 2015 ‘Foundation Award’ in his capacity as a coach…

Dennis ‘Den’ Newton has won over 25 World Championship medals, 30 European Championship medals and multiple national titles. He is by far one of the most medal-adundant men in paddlesports. He is the coach behind many famous and successful whitewater champions from around the World.

He is renowned for his work coaching and developing whitewater kayaking across the globe specialising in several disciplines of paddlesports. He is most famously known for his prowess in freestyle having showcased his coaching ability and supporting athletes including 8x World Champion Claire O’Hara.

Dennis has worked with athletes who have represented Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Canada, America on the national and international circuit including the 2012 Olympics and the White Water Grand Prix, many of whom achieved podium finishes including many Championship titles and first-place finishes.

Many claim Dennis is the genius behind the tricks. Whether mentally, physically, technically or tactically, Dennis’s knowledge encourage his athletes to reach their peak, striving to be ‘the best of the best’. In 2011 he went back to university to study sports science with a specific focus on performance development, whitewater kayaking and freestyle kayaking. All the knowledge from which he has transferred straight back into the sport and to his athletes. In 2015 alone his athletes brought home 8 ICF World Championship medals.

Dennis success stands out from the crowd; his commitment to his athletes and the sport of whitewater kayaking and a freestyle as a whole has been influential in helping it progress to where it is now.

He will describe himself as uninfluential, yet if you speak to any of the athletes he has worked with, grassroots through to the elite level, they will strongly say otherwise – Dennis is an integral part of their success.

In 2011 Dennis saw the success of the World Class programme in the Olympic canoeing disciplines and chose to establish a similar programme for athletes in the non-Olympic disciplines of freestyle kayak and extreme racing. He set up the ASP (Athlete Support Programme) to provide world class coaching and support to top freestyle athletes from around the world. He used the knowledge he has acquired from studying the different disciplines and single handily provided this to over 20 of the top international athletes. He has now worked with over 40 of the world top athletes through the ASP programme.

At the same time he worked with the British Canoe Union as a Technical Advisor to develop a panel of people to tackle the issues surrounding grassroots development of the sport. He helped establish the freestyle ‘Star Award’ and coaching programme that is now rolling out across the UK and Europe. For the last two years he has worked to co-establish the ADP-World of Champions Training Academy, taking many of the world’s most talented freestyle kayakers to Africa in search of the best waves worldwide to train on.

In his role as Lead Coach within the sport of freestyle he travels continually around the world to support and train his athletes.

It is regularly said there is a team behind every athlete. In freestyle kayaking it is more commonly known as ‘there being ‘Dennis’ behind each Champ’! He is one of the vital links in the freestyle chain and has helped its progression into the professional sport to which it has now become.

Dennis is a true example of the importance and value of the volunteers that make the sport of kayaking incredible. Dennis has been nominated for the Foundation Award for his incessant commitment to his athletes and the sport.

Achievements on and off the water:

  • British Canoeing Performance Coach of the Year
  • World Championships multiple gold, silver and bronze medals
  • European Championship multiple gold, silver and bronze medals
  • Multiple National Championships gold, silver and bronze medals in many nations
  • GB Freestyle Team Performance Director and Head Coach
  • Head Coach for Several National teams including Team GB, Sweden, Norway, Finland
  • Personal Coach to many National teams athletes including athletes from Poland, Canada, USA, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Spain
  • British Canoeing Technical Panel and member for both Freestyle kayak and White water Kayak
  • Director, Founder and Head Coach of the Athlete Support Programme (ASP)
  • Co-Director/Founder of the ADP – World of Champions


British Canoeing Level 5 White Water & Sports & Exercise Science BSc Hons

Coaching Experience

Over 15 years of coaching experience developing cutting edge coaching programmes for white water kayaking  all over the globe; including coaching and consulting for National Freestyle Teams and National Governing Body’s.

Paddling Experience

Extensive paddling experience travelling the globe in search of challenging rivers and freestyle venues in Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania.


Freestyle, River Running and Coach Education.


Kokatat, Liquidlogic, Werner Paddles, Play boater, Watershed, HF