The cycling fraternity came out yesterday to pay respect to former national coach Ian Nivet whose funeral was held yesterday at St Finbar’s RC Church, Morne Coco Road, Diego Martin. Nivet passed away on March 27 at the age of 88 but leaves an indelible mark in the sport of cycling.
Nivet was the coach and manager of the TT cycling team at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica which saw TT win two gold medals courtesy Roger Gibbon in the sprint and time trial. He was also the manager and coach of the cycling team at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
His love for cycling was undoubted and founded Pedal Boys Bike Club. He was also instrumental in women getting involved in competitive cycling. Some of the former cyclists who attended the funeral were Roger Gibbon, Gene Samuel, Earl La Fond and Ralph Thompson.
Gibbon, who was coached by Nivet, remembered Nivet’s positivity and kind personality during the eulogy.
Gibbon said, “He would praise you in winning, and comfort you in defeat. I have never heard him tear anyone apart for making foolish mistakes on the track. He would just say, ‘next time, try to be more alert.’ At times in his life, good fortune did not go his way, and in times of distress, you would not hear him complaining...he stayed positive that things would work out, and wore a genuine smile.”
Gibbon said when a flood destroyed his home, he still had a smile on his face. “A few years ago, a devastating flood damaged his home and his losses were severe. I clearly remember him saying ‘I’m not worried, as I still have the clothes on my back, don’t mind that everything is gone.’ The concern from genuine friends and an excellent wife in Carol (Ramkissoon), saw him through. He loved music and dancing and won the last Hilton dance contest. He also loved horse racing and passed many pleasant hours up at the track in Arima. He was a witty, entertaining and knowledgeable friend, who lived an exciting and adventurous life. He was an eternal student, and travelled extensively.”
Nivet, who was born on October 20, 1929 to Verna (a Trinidadian) and Leon (a Frenchman), was the third in a family of five boys, and outlived his brothers: William, Courtney, Peter and Malcolm. He was laid to rest at Lapeyrouse cemetery.