In this section I am presenting my educational background, and here you can witness every single milestone in my life. Education is a process of learning, which continues throughout the whole lifespan of each human being, and, therefore, this page will keep growing with time.
Shortly after I was born, my father was promoted within the Ministry of Defence, and my family moved to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Having had maternal grandparents who devoted their lives to teaching in the Bulgarian school system, I was taught how to read and write prior to starting my primary education, which began in 1994 at the Chernorizets Hrabar Primary School No.163 in Sofia, and which I completed seven years later in 2001.
It was a tough decision regarding which school to choose for my secondary education, but after a while I applied to the Professional School of Textile and Modern Design (PSTMD) in Sofia. My first choice when applying was for the course in computer design of textile products, which was a brand new specialisation at the PSTMD, and after continuous preparation for the main exams, I was delighted to be accepted. At the end of 2001 I commenced my secondary education there, graduating in 2006. During these few years my motivation for sport, and gymnastics in particular, grew enormously. Subsequently, as a result of this, my hobby became my profession, and inevitably I transferred this desire to the next level of my education.
My aim was to become the best gymnast in the world, and in order to accomplish such a goal one needs to implement the best available knowledge within the area of sports science, and to have the support of very experienced coaches. Subsequently, my next step was to apply to the National Sports Academy (NSA) in Sofia, which is the only university fully specialising in Sports Science in Bulgaria. In the summer of 2007, I passed the theoretical and practical exams, and on 22 August I was officially registered for a four-year course leading to a Bachelor's degree in Sports Science. My specialisation was in the coaching of artistic gymnastics, in addition to a second specialisation in teaching physical education, and during my studies at the NSA, I was also working as a gymnastics coach at the Levski Gymnastics Club. After an excellent defence of my Bachelor thesis paper, as well as exemplary results from the state exams, I obtained my Bachelor's degree from the NSA in 2011.
I immediately applied for a postgraduate course at the NSA, and on 7 November 2011 I was registered for a one-year, full-time Master's degree course in Physical Education. Having been accepted as one of the top students for this course, my postgraduate education was partly funded by the Government. On 23 November 2012, I officially became a Master of Physical Education after an excellent defence of my thesis paper in front of the Physical Education Department at the NSA.
In January 2013 I moved to London, where I started working as a gymnastics coach for the Elite Gymnastics Acsdemy CIC. The same year I applied for a funded PhD course at the NSA, but unfortunately, and to my huge surprise, I was ranked only second after the written and oral exams back in Sofia, and therefore I was not offered the single available position for a PhD student. However, in 2014 I started preparing PhD project and made a selection of a few universities for application purposes. After deciding on a complete title and purpose statement for the dissertation, in addition to many improvements in my methodology, I started conducting research in the United Kingdom at the beginning of January 2015. A few months later, the project proposal was sent to the National Sports Academy in Sofia, which my supervisors and I deemed to be the best option at the present time as far as universities are concerned. Although not a funded course, this time I was successful in my application. On 1 July 2015, I was officially registered as a PhD student at the NSA, being now in my third year of studies, and I am currently living, working and conducting my research here in London.
Stefan Kolimechkov, RSci
Theory and Methods of Physical Education and Sports Training
Master of Physical Education
Sports Science and Physical Education