'Kick Off'
 'Tackling Mental Health for Rugby League'
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'Sports do not build character, they reveal it.'


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 Kick Off...Mental Health for Rugby League

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Neurological & Biochemical Facts


Performed by Kim Burstow

The Brain 

  • A baby's brain contains an estimated 180 billion neurons at birth and weighs between 350 to 400 grams. An adult brain weighs between 1.3 & 1.4 kgs (or approximately 2% of total body weight, based on a 70 kg individual)


  • At the age of two (2), a child's brain contains twice as many synapses and consumes twice as much energy as a normal adult.


  • The brain continues to grow and develop in neuronal pathways until around the age of ten (10). During the next few years, there is a diminution of weaker synapses and a reinforcement of the stronger synapses.


  • There are approximately 300 'known' neurotransmitters in the human body, though other resources list as little as '60'.


  • The human eye contains 125 million visual receptors (specialised neurons that turn light into electrical signals for interpretation in the occipital lobe at the back of the head).


  • The fluid filled spiral shaped 'cochlea' in the inner ear contains 16.000 'hair cells' that respond to sound vibrations and then excite or stimulate some 28,000 fibres of the auditory nerve; allowing us to hear.


  • Human beings have between 5,000 and 10,000 taste buds; each consisting of about 100 receptors, responding to four (4) types of stimuli (sweet, salty, sour, bitter)


  • There are 12 million human 'olfactory' receptor cells (smell). Rabbits have about 100 million, dogs, 1 billion & 'bloodhounds' some 4 billion cells.


  • The number of 'tactile' receptors (touch) in the hand is 17,000 with 1,300 nerve endings per square inch.


  • The 'cerebral cortex' of the human brain involves or contains between 15 to 33 billion neurons (dependant upon gender & age)


  • The number of synapses for a 'typical' neuron is between 1,000 & 10,000


  • Approximately one (1) billion synapses constitute one (1) cubic millimetre of 'Cerebral Cortex'. 


  • The total surface area of 100 billion neurons is equivelant to four (4) full size football fields.

         Football field        Football field      Football field      Football field


  • The percentage of the total cerebral volume for each of the four (4) 'lobes' of the brain are: 'frontal lobe' - 41%; 'temporal lobe' - 22%; 'parietal lobe' - 19% and 'occipital lobe' - 18%.

 Lobes of the Brain

  • Approximately 30,000 neurons could easily fit on the head of a pin


  • The speed at which neurotransmission occurs in the synapses of nerve pathways is less than 1/5000th of a second 


  • Despite the brain being only approximately 2% of body weight, it consumes or receives 20% of total body oxygen needs & supplies; 15% of cardiac output and 25% of TOTAL glucose (used as food & energy) 

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"Kick Off' is a 'world first' program & service dedicated specifically to a sport....in this instance; the great game of Rugby League.



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