Every Easter break, thousands of students across the UK make the journey to Croatia for a week-long holiday called ‘tour’, on behalf of their university sports teams. But over the years what happens on this ominous European excursion has become an open secret among Sussex sporting societies. You know the saying: “What happens on tour stays on tour.”

But someone has to say something – and it follows these simple lines: alcohol, partying, and hazing, on a repeated loop, for a week.

Hazing is one of our campus’s biggest unkept secrets.

Hazing is one of our campus’s biggest unkept secrets; many remember the events of tour 2023 which led to a Sussex team facing a lawsuit for hazing. I was not surprised to see this particular team was back to its top hazing form in 2024. Over the weekend, I saw H and R team freshers from Sussex publicly humiliated and socially tortured in front of our entire hotel. And no one batted an eyelid.


Many freshers had their heads forcibly shaved, arriving in Croatia with only patches of hair left as if they had been attacked by animals. Men (although not from Sussex from what I could tell) were walked on their hands and knees with a dog collar and leash around the pool. I witnessed Sussex freshers being forced to stay in the ice-cold pool despite shaking and pleading to get out; young men on the H team with yoghurt dumped over their heads at breakfast and dinner, no time of day sacred – forced to climb on tables of people eating, sing, rap, entertain a crowd that felt nothing but sorry for them. I heard rumours of urination on members and in their mouths, lewd sex games at pre-drinks which borderline an orgy. And this is only the tip of the tour iceberg; there are things so filthy I cannot possibly write them in The Badger.

Naked humiliation rituals were common, with men running and crawling around with no clothes on at any given time. At one point, naked H team members were running around on the beach and swimming lengths, not stopping even when local Croatian children were pointing and watching. I Love Tour staff saw this unfolding, and instead of stopping the hazing altogether, the men were made to put on underwear instead. Many other students at different universities were horrified by Sussex’s antics. It is alleged that the H team received multiple complaints from the hotel about the treatment of their freshers from other university students. It questions why Sussex is so cruel when away from prying eyes – and what happens behind closed doors.

Where our Sussex sports teams are lacking in winning leagues, they make up for in torturing their freshers on tour.

It quickly became evident to me that where our Sussex sports teams are lacking in winning leagues, they make up for in torturing their freshers on tour. This is a gentle suggestion that they put this hazing energy and enthusiasm into their sport. Is being part of these teams (you’re not exactly Olympians, boys, so not a brag if we’re being honest) worth the stress and humiliation of hazing?

I heard rumours of R boys not being allowed to drink water, shower, or change outfits throughout the week, no matter the heat. The singular outfit the R team were seen in included t-shirts with racist and offensive jokes about the wearer on the back.

Ironically, the company running this trip, I Love Tour, has ‘Essential Life Experience’ as their slogan – what exactly is essential about this?

Remember folks, what happens on tour stays on tour. To anyone considering attending next year, make sure your team respects you as a person before putting down that first deposit. There is a fine line between being a ‘tour fresher’ and participating in the light-hearted fresher antics, compared to what I witnessed from the H and R teams. This article is not to shame and embarrass the men who were forced to complete these challenges throughout the week. If anything, my sympathy for them was so strong I wrote this article, despite the backlash I might receive.

It’s clear that change and action are needed immediately.

I address this final closing to Ardi, our recently elected Sports, Societies and Events Officer: What are you going to do about this? Your campaign focused almost entirely on sports societies and wanting to make better changes for our campus. Well, it’s clear that change and action are needed immediately. This article has highlighted the beginning and those you need to focus on. Act now.

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6 Comments

What Happens on Tour (Shouldn’t) Stay on Tour

  1. This article is purely “rage bait”, unfounded, opinionated and comprised entirely of rumour and guesses. The badger should be ashamed to have even posted such a poorly written, tabloid esc article which completely lacks in style and substance. This piece was written solely to garner a reaction from it’s already poor readership. The badger has sacrificed true journalism for what they consider to be an engaging exposé, and have failed miserably, instead producing a shoddy gossip column. The author who has remained anonymous for this should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. This article is ultimately just a load of rubbish. It was claimed there was photographic proof which there isnt and clearly it was meant to be an informative article but it is just clickbaiting. Through a gigantic web of rumours and lies. I also find the article to be quite sexist as all of the allegations are only towards boys when I had first hand account of what one of your beloved predominantly female society’s got up to. In the future maybe focus more on the facts before trying to circulate evidently false rumours about two of our own sports teams.

  3. I heard LC, a member of the R team had a dog collar on and was walked on a leash around the pool everyday.

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