Kokatat announced that it has signed Uganda National Team paddler Sadat Kawawa to its Global Team.
The whitewater athlete from Jinja, Uganda — who grew up on the banks of the Nile — has become one of the world’s top paddlers.
Kawawa was first introduced to the sport by paddlers visiting his hometown to take on the local rapids. He was quickly enamored by the sport and in exchange for carrying boats for tourists he earned paddling lessons and used gear. He quickly progressed in the sport, entered local competitions and went on to international events including multiple World Championships. Last year he won the 2020 King of the Nile.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Kokatat Global Ambassador Team and hope other black men and boys around the world will see me and know that paddlesports are possible for them too,” said Kawawa.
Kokatat was first introduced to Kawawa through the Red Bull film The Way of the Wildcard.
Diversify Whitewater founder Antionette Lee Toscano recently profiled Kawawa for her XOTV channel Whitewater TV and connected Kokatat with him. Diversify Whitewater’s mission is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in whitewater paddlesports for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) + Allies to enter and excel at whitewater kayaking, rafting, and stand up paddleboarding.
As part of the partnership Kawawa will paddle exclusively in Kokatat dry tops, dry suits, and life jackets.
To learn more about Sadat and Kokatat’s team of paddlers visit kokatat.com.
“Sadat is a great addition to our team as he inspires other young paddlers to follow their dreams through his accomplishments,” said Lisa Kincaid, Kokatat’s Promotional Marketing Manager. “Sadat had been on our radar for a while, but thanks to our partners at Diversify Whitewater we learned he was in the market for partnerships and we moved quickly.”
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for 50 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel.