Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - SPORT -

EX­PLOR­ING the links between con­cus­sion and brain in­jury is be­com­ing a pri­or­ity among re­searchers, but a Univer­sity of Notre Dame PhD can­di­date is tak­ing her re­search one step fur­ther.

Sarah Har­ris has joined a team from Notre Dame’s In­sti­tute for Health Re­search in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the links between head trauma and de­pres­sion in young foot­ball play­ers.

Their find­ings to date re­veal 35 play­ers have re­ported 194 head in­juries between them over the course of the sea­son, with those who re­ceive mul­ti­ple blows re­port­ing more symp­toms than those who had not been hurt at all.

Ms Har­ris said while there was a lot of re­search into the long-term con­se­quences of con­cus­sion on mood dis­or­ders and mem­ory, there was lit­tle in­sight into the im­pact re­cent head knocks had on men­tal health.

“Es­pe­cially in males, brains are still de­vel­op­ing up un­til the age of 25,” she said.

“The pre­frontal cor­tex, which is the last re­gion of the brain to de­velop, is also the re­gion most fre­quently af­fected in sport­ing con­cus­sions.”

She said the difficulty in di­ag­nos­ing con­cus­sions meant ed­u­ca­tion was more im­por­tant than ever. THE search is on for the next gen­er­a­tion of male and female cricket um­pires for the 2016-17 WACA sea­son.

Um­pires re­ceive on­go­ing train­ing and devel­op­ment, and there are op­por­tu­ni­ties to move up from com­mu­nity um­pir­ing to do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing the Big Bash League.

WACA um­pire man­ager Matthew Hall knows bet­ter than any­one that as an um­pire you are never out of the game.

“Hav­ing played cricket, I wanted to give back to the game that had given me so much,” Hall said.

“Um­pir­ing cer­tainly pro­vides the best ex­pe­ri­ence for watch­ing the game from close quarters and be­ing in­volved in Aus­tralia's favourite sport.”

Cricket Aus­tralian Com­mu­nity Of­fi­ci­at­ing Cour­ses are run on­line and prac­ti­cal cour­ses are be­ing held in Au­gust for new um­pires.

For more in­for­ma­tion, or to reg­is­ter your in­ter­est, con­tact Matthew Hall at matthew.hall@waca.com.au or visit waca.com.au

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