Doctoral Thesis in Physical Education
NATIONAL SPORTS ACADEMY, BULGARIA
Department of Physiology and Biochemistry
ASSESSMENT OF THE NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL FITNESS IN PRE-SCHOOL AND PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN PRACTISING ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
Accredited PhD Programme: ‘Physical Education'
Code of professional field: 1.3. Pedagogy of Physical Education
Stefan Kolimechkov, Doctoral Candidate
Assoc. Prof. Dr Velizar Mihailov PhD
Prof. Dr Maria Toteva DSc
Chair: Assoc. Prof. Dr Velizar Mihailov, PhD
Prof. Dr Maria Toteva DSc (Professor in Sports Medicine)
Prof. David Davidov DSc (Bulgarian Association of Sport for All)
Prof. Dr Rossica Zamfirova-Mitova PhD (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Assoc. Prof. Dr Velizar Mihailov PhD (Head of the Department of Physiology & Biochemistry at the National Sports Academy)
Assoc. Prof. Iliq Kiuchukov PhD (Department of Gymnastics at the National Sports Academy)
2015 - 2018
One of the main objectives of physical education and sports is to increase the level of physical fitness and health of a nation, and physical fitness and nutritional status are considered important parameters, which can be used to predict and improve health and well-being.
Gymnastics provides a great diversity of movements, such as transitions from static to dynamic elements and vice versa, as well as frequinet changes of the body position in space, which are all of great importance for the development of children. Moreover, gymnastics develops and improves physical qualities, such as strength, flexibility, coordination and specific strength-endurance.
Assessments of physical fitness and nutrition are of particular importance for sports coaches and teachers, play a significant role in children practising sports, and therefore, have to be skilfully applied in order to promote proper and natural development.
This PhD thesis is focused on the assessment of the impact of diet, physical fitness and physical activity on the physical development and health status in children of pre-school and primary school age who are practising artistic gymnastics.
I wish to achieve and maintain the highest standards of teaching and safe practice in all aspects of Physical Education and Sports Coaching. Therefore, pursuing the highest academic qualification, which is the PhD Degree, is of the greatest importance for my professional career and the realisation of my long-term goals and objectives.
Stefan Kolimechkov, Doctoral Candidate
VIDEO OF MY PRESENTATION
Official Public Defence
of a thesis for obtaining the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree
This video contains the main highlights from the Defence
Bulgarian language + English subtitles
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART IN THIS RESEARCH
- LEVSKI SPORTS CLUB, Sofia, Bulgaria
many artistic gymnasts from Levski Gymnastics Club, a member of Levski S.C.,
took part in my Master's degree research and established the foundation for this Doctoral dissertation.
- ELITE GYMNASTICS ACADEMY CIC, London, England, UK;
many artistic gymnasts from the Elite G.A. have taken part in this PhD Research.
- 1066 GYMNASTICS ACADEMY, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, UK;
artistic gymnasts from 1066 G.A. have taken part .
- ST EDMUND'S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL, London, England, UK;
non-gymnast children from St Edmund's Primary School have taken part.
- HOLLAND PARK PRE-PREP SCHOOL, London, England, UK;
non-gymnast children from Holland Park School have taken part.
- EAST LONDON GYMNASTICS CLUB, London, England, UK;
artistic gymnasts from East London G.C. have taken part.
- SUTTON GYMNASTICS ACADEMY, London, England, UK;
artistic gymnasts from Sutton G.A. have taken part.
- BASINGSTOKE GYMNASTICS CLUB, Basingstoke, England, UK;
artistic gymnasts from Basingstoke G.C. have taken part.
2012: started thinking about pursuing a PhD Degree after a highly successful defence of my Master’s dissertation at the end of the year.
2013: moved to the United Kingdom in January and started working in the field of Sports Coaching.
2013: published a peer-reviewed article, entitled 'Assessment of the physical development of pre-school and primary school children practising artistic gymnastics', which was expanded upon the work contained within my Master’s Thesis.
2014: started preparing a Proposal project and improving the methodology from my research.
2015: started conducting my research in the United Kingdom in January, 2015.
2015: in May I sent my Proposal project to the National Sports Academy in Sofia for official approval. One month later, my proposal was officially accepted, and on the 1 July 2015 I was assigned for a three-year higher education distance learning course, leading to a PhD degree in the Physical Education Pedagogy research area, in the following PhD programme: 'Theory and Methods of Physical Education and Sports Training, including Physiotherapy' at the Physiology and Biochemistry Department.
2015: took my compulsory PhD modules at the National Sports Academy, Sofia, from 26 till 31 October 2015
2016: published my first international peer-reviewed article in the African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences in June, 2016.
Sep 2016: provided with an annual evaluation report (2015-2016) from the Physiology and Biochemistry Department at the University in Sofia, which states that I have achieved an overall score of 117 points (out of 130) for my first year as a PhD student.
Dec 2016: took and passed with flying colours the 'PhD I.3 Statistical Methods and Data Analysis' exam as well as the 'PhD.IV Final Doctoral Examination' at the National Sports Academy. As of 14th of December 2016 I, Stefan Kolimechkov (PhD student, N339), have taken and passed all of the PhD modules at the University in Sofia and I am currently a 2-nd year PhD student.
2017: published an article, entitled 'Physical fitness assessment in children and adolescents: a systematic review' in the European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science in April, 2017.
Apr 2017: I was invited to join the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science. This is an international peer-reviewed journal, which publishes academic research in various fields, such as sport, physical activity, health and nutrition, etc.
June 2017: I was recognised as a Certified Exercise Practitioner by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
2018: As of 30th of May 2018 I, Stefan Kolimechkov (PhD student, N339), have been admited to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, after an excellent defence of my Doctoral dissertation in front of an audience of 50 people, including researchers from 3 departments at the National Sports Academy, the Scientific Jury, lecturers, colleagues and friends.
November 2018: On 15 November I received my PhD degree at the 2018 Doctoral Awards Ceremony on the Official Day of the National Sports Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria.
After completing the PhD Module I.2.Research Knowledge and Competencies at the NSA, Sofia with my research fellows and Assoc. Prof. Mihail Galov, Ph.D.(in the middle), 2015.
Assessing Physical Fitness Levels at Edmonton Leisure Centre in London (the main sports venue of the Elite Gymnastics Academy CIC), 2015.
I am in the historic town of Hastings on the south coast of England, on my way to conduct my research at 1066 Gymnastics Academy, 2015.
I am in Bexhill-on-Sea for my scientific research, in front of 1066 Gymnastics Academy, South East England, 2015.
Assessing Physical Fitness Levels of young gymnasts at 1066 Gymnastics Academy, with coach Jack, 2015.
Assessing Physical Fitness of young children at Holland Park Pre-Prep School in London, UK, 2015.
Nutritional Assessment - The Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQ) for Young Athletes, PhD Research 2015-2018.
PhD Module I.1.Introduction to Sports Science at the National Sports Academy in Sofia, with my PhD research fellows, 2015.
Assessing Physical Growth and Development with professional tools (SECA Leicester Height Measure and Lange Skinfold Caliper Cambridge), PhD Research 2015-2018.
I am at Sutton Gymnastics Academy, with their women's artistic squad coach Yan-Kay, to carry out my PhD Research, London, 2016.
Assessing musculoskeletal fitness (upper body isometric strength) with the professional Hand Grip Digital Dynamometer 'Takei 5401', PhD Research 2015-2018.