AMI Partners with Montessori Sports

Thursday 6th August 2020

Youth sports experts, Montessori Sports, have launched an online platform to allow greater access to training on how to integrate Montessori principles within schools’ sports programmes. 

The aim is to bring a student-centred approach to sports environments and to bring sports to the very core of child development. Montessori Sports founders, Ruben Jongkind and Patrick Oudejans, formalised their partnership last year with Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), the global organisation set up by Maria Montessori herself more than 90 years ago to continue her work.  

Ruben Jongkind first discovered Montessori education while he was a coach at the world leading Ajax Amsterdam Football Academy. There he connected with Lynne Lawrence, the Executive Director of AMI. 

Impressed by the philosophy, Ruben began implementing Montessori principles into the Academy, with great success. Results were evident in the Europa League in 2017 and Champions League 2019, which had one of the youngest teams ever to perform at this level. 

As a result of this pioneering partnership, Montessori sports are now launching an online platform to make training and resources available to large numbers of educators, trainers, and parents.  In addition, a Montessori Sports Fund will be established to bring Montessori education to sports-loving under-resourced communities.

“The partnership offers a unique opportunity to continue to develop and roll out a sports programme based on Montessori principles. It is innovative both from a Montessori perspective and within sports environments. Sports has been an undervalued aspect of the Montessori educational offering for too long, in spite of Maria Montessori herself recognising its importance,” said Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director of AMI.

In recent years, Montessori Sports has developed various programmes to train adults to prepare a sports environment for children that incorporates Montessori principles. In this process they worked closely with AMI Montessori trainers, offering courses and workshops globally. 

“While traditional sports coaching is often competitive and centred on the interests of the coach, Montessori Sports offers an alternative approach that is developmental and student centred, focusing on the individual’s own development as a player. Parents so often add sports coaching as an after-school activity, which is detached from their daily Montessori learning principles. We are providing the opportunity to develop those skills within the school environment”, said Ruben Jongkind.

Now, a new online platform has been launched to scale up and meet growing demand for courses and resources in the area of Montessori and sports.

Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director of AMI, is excited to see the progress and impact Montessori Sports has had already with Montessori children across the world. 

“Our work with Montessori Sports has given AMI access to incredible expertise in the field of sports coaching, experts who we know are also deeply committed individuals who care about what an authentic Montessori approach can do for children across the world”, Lynne Lawrence.

As part of their work, a Montessori Sports Fund will be developed to make Montessori sports available to children from under-resourced backgrounds and provide an equitable and inclusive system of youth sports coaching opportunities for all children. 

“There is growing scientific evidence that sports contributes to better executive functioning in children, and all-round well-being. We know that the Montessori environment is the best possible environment for introducing child centred sports education because of its globally successful student-centred education”, Ruben Jongkind. 

For more information on Montessori Sports and their online training platform visit:

Ruben Jongkind & Lynne Lawrence