THe Oaks Gymnastics Academy
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History

Before World War II my father lived in northern England. When the bombs started dropping every ableLen Turner Africa bodied man was called to arms. At eighteen my father tried to enlist in the army and was refused - his build was so slight and his stature so diminished by the poorest of upbringing, he was not fit enough to lift a rifle.

The army sent him off to a “special” boot camp where they served six meals a day and the conducted the most rigorous physical training imaginable. When the training was over the instructors were very impressed with the transformation that took place and the quality of his work. If he survived the battlefield he would be asked to become an instructor in the prestigious Army School Of Physical Training - APTC.

When the war was over he returned to join the APTC and became the first physical training instructor for the prestigious Sandhurst Military College and went on to serve two tours of duty in the Kings African Rifles - on the Kenyan frontier.
I was born in Kenya.

Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania pulled a few strings with the State Department and after his return from Africa we moved to America. My father became the favorite “british drill Sargent” to many cadets in his care. He went on to be the Physical Director at the Upper Main Line YMCA and eventually started Len Turners Gymnastics School in Bryn Mawr.

As a boy I went to the VFMA gym every day after school, but I was never forced to train. I was a gymnastics instructor in high school and college. The worst gymnast ever by collegiate team standards, but my father went on to see me graduate from West Chester State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. With a specialty in outdoor pursuits I was the youngest rock climbing instructor in the country when I went to work for the North Carolina Outward Bound School.I ran the Alamance County YMCA in Burlington, North Carolina in 1983 and 1984 taking the gymnastics program to over two hundred students with a very competitive girls team.

In 1984 the Women’s Gymnastics Team won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In 1985 I purchased “Sprite Gymnastics” in East Norriton.