AN invention from a Weaverham swimming coach has helped a six-year-old boy born with no arms learn how to swim.​

Swimming coach-turned inventor Chris Shore saw an inspirational video on the Internet of six-year-old Ismail Zulfic, from Bosnia, learning to swim.

Three times a week Ismail’s cash-strapped parents drive him nearly 50 miles from their home in the city of Zenia to swimming lessons in Sarajevo.

There is a lack of state support for disabled children in Bosnia and Chris wanted to help so he tracked down Ismail and sent him an Aquaplane – his revolutionary aeroplane-shaped swimming aid.

Chris, 28, said: “Ismail didn’t have access to any sufficient swimming equipment so we wanted to help.

“I'm overwhelmed seeing Ismail’s face light up when he is wearing the Aquaplane.

“Its design helps him to achieve an optimum swimming position which is giving him lots of confidence.”

AquaPlane is a three-in-one swimming aid covering all the main stages of swimming development.

The device has won the backing of Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmers and is used across the UK.

Chris invented it after becoming frustrated with the limitations of armbands and other buoyancy aids while teaching youngsters how to swim.

Ismail’s dad Ismet Zulfic said his son, who was born with a congenital defect, was thrilled and is now swimming faster and better than ever.

“I can't even explain to you Ismail's reaction when he saw his Aquaplane,” said Ismet.

“It has made him faster than before, which makes him so happy.”

But Ismet hopes that Ismail, who is now able to jump in and swim the length of an Olympic-sized pool without help, will one day represent his country.

Despite his disability, Ismail has learned to use his feet to write and for other everyday activities.

Bosnia has around 300,000 people with disabilities, including 84,000 who fought in the 1992-1995 civil war.

At the Paralympic Games last year, Bosnia sent only a volleyball team and two shot putters.