Dr Stefan Kolimechkov

Dr Stefan Kolimechkov BA, MA, PhD

Postgraduate Research Student

Stefan Kolimechkov is a third year MPhil/PhD student in Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich, London. His current research focuses on the effects of microcurrent electrical stimulation and resistance exercise to counteract the loss of muscle mass and strength which accompanies aging. Stefan is supervised by Professor Fernando Naclerio and Dr Marcos Seijo at the Centre for Exercise Activity and Rehabilitation within the Institute for Lifecourse Development, University of Greenwich.

Stefan obtained his Bachelor's degree in Sport and Physical Education from the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2011, and the following year he completed his Master's degree in Physical Education at the same University. Furthermore, he did a course in Bodybuilding and Fitness-Bodybuilding, which gained him the status of Level 6 Personal Trainer, Advanced Health and Exercise Specialist awarded by the European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS). Stefan worked as a gymnastics coach from 2008 until 2012 at the Levski Gymnastics Club in Sofia, Bulgaria. During this time, many of his students won medals and certificates from club, regional, national and international gymnastics competitions. Stefan competed as a gymnast as well, representing his university team A-Gym NSA Gymnastics Club in many National Gymnastics Championships. In 2012, Stefan was ranked 4th on the Men’s Rings in Bulgaria at the National Gymnastics Championships.

In 2013, Stefan moved to work and live in London. He started coaching gymnastics at the Elite Gymnastics Academy CIC, and he also provided gymnastics coaching and volunteered as a PE assistant at St Edmund’s Primary School in London. Between 2015 and 2018, Stefan did a part-time PhD in Physical Education at the National Sports Academy in Bulgaria. His PhD thesis focused on the nutrition and health-related physical fitness of primary school children engaged in artistic gymnastics, and he managed to fund his project himself while working in London as a gymnastics coach. In 2018, at the age of 30, he was officially admitted to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy after an excellent defence of his Doctoral thesis.

In 2020, Stefan obtained his British citizenship. He holds a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Chartered Activity and Health Practitioner MCIMSPA (ch) status, and Level 3 British Gymnastics Coaching Qualification. Stefan provided gymnastics coaching in London as part of his personal training business (STK SPORT) between 2013 and 2022. In 2022, Stefan founded Chelsea Gymnastics Academy Ltd, which is the successor of STK SPORT. Chelsea Gymnastics Academy brings gymnastics to the community in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. Its main goal is to help people recognise and experience the joy of doing gymnastics in order to sustain a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

In 2023, Stefan was awarded the World Physical Education Ambassador award by the Federation Internationale d'Education Physique et Sportive (FIEPS). In August 2023, Stefan successfully completed the International Summer School ‘Research Methods in Sports Science for Interdisciplinary Approaches’ at the German Sport University Cologne in Germany.


Three-time London Gymnastics Champion on Rings (2015, 2016, 2017) British Bronze medallist at the 2023 Adult Gymnastics British Championships World Physical Education Ambassador awarded by the Federation Internationale d'Education Physique et Sportive (FIEPS) in 2023.


Professional affiliations/associations:

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • European College of Sport Science (ECSS)
  • International Federation of Physical Education (FIEP)
  • Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)
  • British Gymnastics

Research / Scholarly interests

Stefan presented his research at international scientific conferences in physical education, and sport and exercise sciences, including the European College of Sports Science Congress in 2019 (Czech Republic), 2020 (Virtual), 2021 (Virtual), 2022 (Spain), and 2023 (France), the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Conference in 2017 (Nottingham, UK), and in 2018 (Harrogate, UK), as well as the FIEPS European Congress in 2017 (Luxembourg), 2018 (Turkey), 2021 (Virtual), 2022 (Finland), and 2023 (Romania). As part of his research, and with the help of his supervisors Prof. Lubomir Petrov and Professor Albena Alexandrova, Stefan developed sports software called ‘BeepShuttle’ which administers the 20m shuttle run test, calculates the predicted maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), and provides a percentile score for each participant based on age- and gender-specific norms.

Stefan’s current research at the University of Greenwich is supervised by Professor Fernando Naclerio and Dr Marcos Seijo, and it is focused on the effects of microcurrent and resistance exercises on sarcopenia (a major health problem linked to disability, poor quality of life, and increased risk of death) in older adults.