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University of Birmingham hockey team banned after initiation troubles

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University of Birmingham’s hockey team have been banned from the Uni’s prestigious, ‘Sports night’ after a survey found their initiations to be damaging to students’ mental health.

A ‘minority’ of sports clubs were investigated after feedback from security staff about previous social activities emerged. Staff had warned the University of initiations and other events which were seen to have involved, “Bullying and sexually harassing students.”

One hockey member told the Birmingham Tab that one of the tasks given to freshers was ‘10’ where people got with each other for ten seconds as well as forcing them to do other things that make them feel uncomfortable and targeted. According to the hockey player: “It’s been going on for years.”

The University of Birmingham confirmed that the hockey club have been investigated and punished for breaching the Guild’s Social policy.

The hockey team later said that they were helping the University with their issue and wanted to put, “A number of solutions in place.”

Sports Officer at Birmingham’s Guild of Students, Simon Price, said that he worked closely with the student mental health and well-being society to produce an initial feedback form receiving responses anonymously in regards to club initiations.

Despite reactions stating initiations and other such activities as being inappropriate, the majority of the feedback was positive and stated new members felt welcomed into clubs.

Analysis

With initiations being such a big part of sport’s teams, there was always going to be a time where things could get out of hand. It’s inevitable whilst there existence continues.

Initiations are seen as a way of improving team relations and are most commonly associated with team sports such as hockey, football and rugby.

However, rather than bonding, it seems to have pushed to the stage where new players - freshers - must prove themselves to their seniors by completing unwelcome activities.

Despite initiations being so common, it is unanimously regarded in a negative light with Universities undertaking more responsibility to keep their students safe. Therefore, it is likely that initiations could be forced out by clubs in the future.

If you find yourself within an initiation, remember you can always say no.

Image rights - Pixabay - https://pixabay.com/en/beer-tap-pour-brew-alcohol-drink-2619981/

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