The Gymnastics Department
The Gymnastics Department is one of longest tradition and history in the ‘Vassil Levski’ NSA. Because of its specific character, gymnastics is considered as one of the fundamental courses providing vast knowledge and training various motor skills which help students to perform other sports and to further their future professional development.
Brief Historical Survey
Gymnastics was a course included in the curriculum of the State Higher School of Physical Education at its foundation on 15 November 1942. The Physical Education Organization Department was one of the four basic departments which involved the practical course on General Physical Training, special gymnastics and floor exercise, performance on apparatus, weightlifting, music, folk dances and sketching. Neno Mirchev was one of the first assistant professors. Later, in 1947, the Higher School was renamed as The Higher School of Physical Culture (HSPC – VUF)
The new structure included a separate Department of Gymnastics Theory, System and Practice (general and physical training, floor and apparatus exercises, gymnastics for the workers and drilling exercises), short and preparatory games and Bulgarian folk dancing. The leading teachers then were Venzislav Angelov, Kosta Ignatov and Vassil Luzkanov. Since 1953, when the Higher School developed into an institute, the ‘Georgi Dimitrov Higher Institute of Physical Culture, the Gymnastics Department has acquired a paramount importance. On the basis of strong foundations, the truly active period of the Gymnastics Department was initiated and it became a champion and a guarantee for the comprehensive and humanitarian profile of the education at the Institute.
Parallel to the teaching practice, science achievements also attained greater and remarkable success. Nikola Hadjiev, Tzanko Mikov, Tzvetana Dimova, Dimcho Yordanov, Nikola Milev, Maria Hadjiiska were among the most outstanding science researchers who defended their theses successfully and laid the foundations of research in gymnastics.
Up to the present day, the Gymnastics Department has been playing a leading role for the high prestige of ‘Georgi Dimitrov’ HIPC (VIF), presently, the ‘Vassil Levski’ NSA. In the period 15 Oct. 1979 – 21 Apr. 1987, Prof. Nikola Hadjiev was the Rector of the ‘G.Dimitrov’ Higher Institute of Physical Culture. In the period 1995 – 1999, Prof. Tzvetana Dimova was the Chairman of the Specialized Scientific Council.
With its long tradition of organizing and participating in sports competitions and mass gymnastics compositions dedicated to celebrated events The Gymnastics Department has always promoted gymnastics as a fundamental course necessary for the training of human resources in the field of sport in Bulgaria.
Since its foundation, 20 associate professors and 4 professors have attained their academic ranks and have lectured at the Gymnastics Department. Assoc. Prof. Neno Mirchev, Prof. Ana Mircheva, Prf. Nikola Hadjiev, Prof. Tzvetana Dimova and Assoc. Prof. Kiril Andonov have served as Head of the Gymnastics Department.
The content and quality of the education at the Department are at high European academic level. The major goal of education is to train highly qualified specialist in the field of physical culture, elite sport, physical therapy, tourism and sports animation, mass physical culture and sports for all through the knowledge provided by gymnastics theory and practice.
The lecturers of the Gymnastics Department teach at the three Faculties of the NSA ‘Vassil Levski’. In this way, the Department contributes to the training of a large number of sports specialists such as teachers, coaches, physical therapists, specialists in tourism and sports animation.
The Gymnastics Department structure reflects the general structure of the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG), all major gymnastics sports being represented as separate sections of the Department.
The Department Managing Body
- Head of Department: Assoc. Prof. Kiril Andonov, Ph.D.
- Vice-Head of Department for Study Activities: Assoc. Prof. Vesselin Petrov, Ph.D.
- Vice-Head of Department for Research Activities: Head Assist. Georgi Sergiev, Ph.D.
Sections and Lecturers
The Artistic Gymnastics Section:
- Head of Section – Head Assist. Emil Videv
- Assoc. Prof. Kiril Andonov, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Vesselin Petrov, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Koycho Zlatev, Ph.D.
- Head Assist. Emil Videv
- Head Assist. Ilia Kiuchukov
- Head Assist. Georgi Sergiev, Ph.D.
- Head Assist. Plamen Andreev
- Head Assist. Dobri Dobrev, Ph.D.
The Artistic Gymnastics Section:
- Head of Section – Assoc. Prof. Bonka Dimitrova, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Bonka Dimitrova, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Tsvetana Dobreva, Ph.D.
- Head Assist. Stalinka Ilieva
- Head Assist. Neli Tankusheva
- Head Assist. Sonya Staykova
- Senior Assist. Irina Nesheva
- Marina Petrova, a part-time teacher
The Aerobics Section
- Head of Section – Assoc. Prof. Maria Mineva, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Maria Mineva, Ph.D.
- Head Assist Milena Turnichkova
The Acrobatics Section
- Head of Section – Assoc. Prof. Neno Hristov, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Neno Hristov, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Toshko Pavlov, Ph.D.
- Head Assist. Vladimir Simeonov
- Silvia Yordanova, a part-time teacher
The Rhythmic Gymnastics Section
- Head of Section – Head Assist. Giurka Gancheva
- Head Assist Giurka Gancheva
- Head Assist Daniela Velcheva
The Rhythm and Dance Section
- Head of Section – Head Assist. Bisser Grigorov
- Head Assist Bisser Grigorov
- Head Assist. Zlatin Kostov, Ph.D.
- Assoc. Prof. Stefan Vuglarov – a part-time teacher
- Zdravka Todorova
- Rumiana Kaneva
- Radostina Marinova
- Grigor Tsotsev
Study activities coordinator: Malina Georgieva
Technical assistant: Vladimir Grozdev
The Study Activities at the Department are performed in the form of lectures and practice sessions. The programs are in compliance with the modern requirements for training highly qualified specialists in the field of physical culture and sport.
The Department provides programs for the three academic levels: the Bachelor’s, Master’s and the Doctor’s Degre.
The Science Research Activities of the Department are in a constant process of development aiming at the optimization of different aspects of the instruction and training activities. Through them, the teachers constantly improve their professional qualifications and achieve higher academic ranks. The research activities also contribute to the study process providing the students with knowledge about the recent achievements of sports science which further stimulates their creativity. The object of research are the issues connected with various teaching methods, biomechanic analyses on gymnastics exercises, technical and physical training, selection, planning and supervision, training loading, mental training, etc. Seminars and workshops are also organized on various matters related to high sports performance and physical culture.