Newcastle University is investigating its ladies hockey club after a video was posted online of freshers taking part in a banned initiation.

The footage, which was taken down from the club’s Instagram pages, showed the university hockey newbies drinking alcohol poured from shinpads.

Both videos showed no social distancing measures in place when it appeared at the end of last month. Initiation rituals have been banned at the university following the death of fresher Ed Farmer four years ago.

A Newcastle University spokesperson told THP: “We are aware of the video and while the investigation is ongoing we cannot comment further on this incident.  

The Tab Newcastle posted the initiation on its Instagram Stories

“We take our responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and local community extremely seriously.    

“Our Student Charter, which is signed by all students, makes it very clear that initiations or similar dangerous behaviour is banned and reinforces the importance of sensible drinking. It has also been updated this year to take account of new and additional responsibilities relating to Covid-19.”

An investigation by Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU) has been launched to assess whether students breached Covid-19 rules and follows a string of hockey-related rituals to hit the news in recent years.

Benthe Tanghe, the university’s athletics union sabbatical officer, said: “The safety of our students is of the utmost importance to us, and we will not tolerate any behaviour which puts our students at risk.

“The investigation will assess if the students breached our policies and procedures regarding initiations, dangerous behaviours, coercive behaviours and Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. While this investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further.”