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Rhythmic gymnastics

Leader - Full Prof. Ph.D. Giurka Gantcheva

Teachers- Full Prof. Giurka Gantcheva, Ph.D., Assoc. prof. , Ph.D., Chief assistant Daniela Velcheva, Ph.D.

News Gymnasts History Coaches

Distinguished coaches Maria Hadjiiska

She is the first rhythmic gymnastics teacher in the Higher Institute for Physical Culture, who has prepared for over 40 years gymnasts for the sport societies, sport schools and children sport schools in the whole country. She is one of the authors of the first methodic appliances. She participated in the printing of the first competitive regulations on 08.12.1960 by the publishing house “Medicine and Physical Education”, along with the President of the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation Moni Hakim, the union sport gymnastics coach Radka Pencheva and the workers – Parashkeva Staikova and Maria Antonova. Maria Hadjiiska is the first chairman of the Coaches’ council, elected on the first conference of the Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation in 1964. Tsvetana Atanasova

Graduates the Higher Institute of Physical Culture, specialty – gymnastics. Works as a rhythmic gymnastics teacher in NSA. Habilitated associate professor, assistant, head assistant, chief assistant, Doctor of Pedagogic science.

Author of the monograph “Rhythmic Gymnastics for Children”, the textbook “Theoretical Bases of Rhythmic Gymnastics”, 25 works on the problems of the school-training process, 50 works on scientific-creative problems. Five time republican champion of diving, master of sport, honoured coach.

Zlatka Avramova-Parleva

Constant republican students champion from the coaches’ school of the Higher Institute of Physical Culture from 1953 till 1956. As coach she prepares individual competitors and especially ensembles, which brought a lot of fame to Bulgaria from World and European championships. The ensemble combinations, composed by Zlatka and presented on the world stages from 1969 to 1983 are unforgettable. She led the ensembles at the World championships in Bazel’77 – second place, London’79 – third place, Munich’81 – first place; at the European championships in Madrid’78 – first place, Amsterdam’80 – first place, Stravanger’82 – second place; at the tournament for the World Cup in Beograd’83 – second place.

Apart from Bulgaria, she passed her experience in Canada, Malaysia, Spain, Poland, Norway, Greece, USA and others. She has been awarded with many government orders and medals for her great contribution to the rhythmic gymnastics and her fellow countrymen awarded her with title “Honorary citizen of Burgas”.

Julia Trashlieva

National competitor in rhythmic and sport gymnastics. Graduates the Coaches’ school of the Higher Institute for physical culture, eight time republican champion. She is part of the first national team of rhythmic gymnastics, with which she won two bronze medals at the first World championship in Budapest in 1963. Julia has a definite contribution to the development of this sport as coach of the national ensembles and coach in the metropolitan sport society “Spartak”. She led the Bulgarian ensemble at the first World championship for ensembles in Copenhagen’67. The team did marvellously well and cogently won the first place, but a check of the apparatus found the plastic hoops had widen with one centimetre, because of the heat. This was the reason that points were taken off from the team and it moved down to the third place. This did not despair her and at the next World championship in Varna’69, along with Lily Mircheva, she experienced the joyful moment to see her girls at the top. In Rotterdam’73 her girls were fifth.

Ivanka Chakarova

Born in Varna, she graduates the Higher Institute for Physical Culture in 1953, competitor of rhythmic gymnastics and track-and-field athletics. In 1955 she began work as a rhythmic gymnastics coach in the Pioneers’ Castle in Sofia. She led the national team at the second World championship in Prague’65, where Maria Gigova enters the world elite being 6-th AA and with the highest score with the Ball. Along with her colleagues from the Higher Institute for Physical Culture Maria Hadjiiska, Tsvetana Atanasova and others, she works actively for the separation of the rhythmic gymnastics in an independent federation. From 1964 she is the public vice-chairman of the Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, and later its chairman till 1973. She founded centers for rhythmic gymnastics in many towns.
With a decision of the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport she goes and lays the beginning of the beauty sport in Spain. She prepares coaches, organizes groups and leads their first national team. Ivanka actively participates in two championships in Madrid – World in 1975 and the first European in 1978. She is a member of the Technical Committee of FIG from 1966 till 1976. She has an invaluable contribution to the imposing of the rhythmic gymnastics as a world sport

Julieta Shishmanova

A legend of the Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics!
There is nothing unusual in the biography. She is born in Nesebar, her first steps in the sport gymnastics are made as a schoolgirl in Pomorie with Dimitar Ivanov. Afterwards in Burgas, Spasia Valchanova and Nevena Gencheva noticed the remarkable energy of the 14 years old girl and predetermined her path in sport. In the Higher Institute for Physical Culture the specialists At.Mircheva and Tsvetana Dimova include her in the representative team of sport gymnastics. The first are always remembered. Julieta Shishmanova is that one, who in the dawn of rhythmic gymnastics, seeks for the new, looks into the future. After the World championship in Copenhagen in 1967 the foreign newspapers wrote: “The Bulgarians are the best!”. Then and there, she along with her trainee Maria Gigova, who won the first gold medal (hoop) for Bulgaria, showed to the world the power of the new modern Bulgarian school.
Two years afterwards, in Varna, came the “official” triumph. And this is not a passing flash, because on the next World championship in Havana, Maria Gigova again is the best in the world, and Shishmanova – a world famous coach. Julieta had some kind of unusual power, some special energy. When she started to do something, she always put it to an end. Her name is part of the golden pages in the history of the Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics. After her tragic death, her trainees followed in her footsteps

Neshka Robeva

Graduate of the National Sports Academy (then Higher Institute for Physical Education). As a competitor she was in the shade of Maria Gigova. At the IV World championship in Varna in 1969 she is 2nd AA, in 1971 in Havana – 5th , in Rotterdam 1973 – 6th.

Her amazing coaching career starts in 1977 (firstly she works with Valentina Ganeva). At the next World championship in London in 1979 she was 1st with Iliana Raeva with Clubs. Neshka’s team comes back from Munich (1981) with AA World Champion – Anelia Ralenkova. Next on the list were Lily Ignatova and Iliana Raeva. With this starts the phenomenal era of the Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics. The new generation, prepared by Neshka, was called “The Golden Girls”.

At the World Championship in Strasbourg’83 1st AA becomes Diliana Georgieva, followed by Anelia Ralenkova and Lily Ignatova. The success is stunning! The Bulgarian girls occupied the honorary step, only our flag was waved and only our national anthem was heard! After that - Valladolid’85 where Georgieva became for the second time AA Champion, Lily Ignatova was second again and Bianka Panova – third. In 1987 Bianka Panova won all golden medals and all her rating were 10.00 – a unique case in the whole history of gymnastics! Adriana Dunavska and Elizabet Koleva took the next two places. Neshka Robeva is the only coach in the world who had prepared more than one champion for several World Championships. Unfortunately the first place is only one! 

During the next years, Neshka prepares a new miracle in the rhythmic gymnastics – Maria Petrova. She was first on three consecutive World Championships – in Alicante’93, Paris’94 and Vienna’95. Bulgaria again has a three time World Champion. With this Maria Petrova repeats the great success of Maria Gigova! Neshka’s “Golden Girls” win the European Championship in Amsterdam’80 where Iliana Raeva was first and Lily Ignatova – second. Anelia Ralenkova becomes European Champion in Stavanger’82 and again in Vienna’84. At the European Championship in Florence’86 the always second place winner Lily Ignatova is at last European Champion, along with Bianka Panova. In Helsinki’88 two Bulgarian girls – Elizabet Koleva and Adriana Dunavska with equal points are AA European Champions. In Goteborg’90 the gold is for Julia Baicheva. Maria Petrova repeats this in Stuttgart’92 and Solun’94.

The necklace of triumphs stretches from the European Championship in Amsterdam’80 to the World Championship in Paris’94. “The Golden Girls” of Neshka Robeva are always at the top – Iliana Raeva, Anelia Ralenkova, Lily Ignatova, Diliana Georgieva, Bianka Panova, Adriana Dunavska, Elizabet Koleva, Julia Baicheva, Branimira Ivanova, Maria Petrova and the ensemble competitors – what a magnificent galaxy of beauties and champions. Neshka Robeva is the only coach in the world who had won 7 titles with her girls. We have to add the titles of the ensembles, which are of no less value.

We don’t need to make an inquiry – who is the best rhythmic gymnastics coach for all times. The result is perfectly clear – this is Neshka!

For less than two decades as a coach of the national teams, Neshka Robeva wins an amazing amount of medals – 294 (for women and girls), from which 143 gold, 88 silver and 63 bronze.

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