GWENT secondary schools are being asked to put Wales’ Grand Slam feelgood factor to good use – by completing a fundraising challenge for a rugby charity.

Swaziland Kids Rugby Mission (Skrum) uses rugby as a means of helping teach sex awareness and education to schoolchildren in Swaziland and other parts of Africa, to try to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Pupils in Gwent are being asked to raise money for 1,000 rugby balls to be used in Skrum’s programmes.

The fundraising effort was launched at Crumlin rugby club and Skrum UK fundraiser Iain Richards hopes to get 15 to 20 secondary schools involved.

He said: “It’s an ambitious target, but it is do-able.

“I know we will get great support across Gwent.

“The slogan is ‘pass the ball not a virus’ and it is about making the work we do fun for the children involved.”

The aim is to try to raise the money by Saturday December 1, World AIDS Day, when another event is planned at Crumlin RFC.

Crumlin stalwart Arthur Lewis, a former Wales and British Lions centre, said that as Skrum’s partner club in Wales, Crumlin is proud to be associated with the charity’s work.

“It is vital for the youth of Swaziland and the HIV crisis in that country and we will do all we can to help Iain and the schools make the project work throughout 2012,” he said.

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