Movement and sports have always been Ruben's passion, which almost naturally led to a career solidly founded in elite sports. Starting out as a coach in 2006, he worked with world class 800 metres athlete Bram Som, and several other Dutch champions in athletics, triathlon and pentathlon before taking on the responsibility of coaching at the famous academy of Dutch Football Club Ajax Amsterdam. Ruben was introduced to the Montessori philosophy through Ajax youth player Jamie Lawrence, the son of Lynne Lawrence (Executive Director AMI). Between 2011 and 2016, as Head of Talent Development of Ajax, he teamed up with Johan Cruyff and Wim Jonk to write a revolutionary plan to reform Ajax. Details about "Plan Cruyff" can be found in this article of Sky Sports (2017)
Soon he started implementing Montessori principles into the structure and training environment of the academy, contributing to the rise to the top of Ajax and the development of world class players like Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus), Donny van de Beek (Manchester United) and Serginho Dest (FC Barcelona). In 2017 Ajax was the youngest team to ever reach a European final and in 2019 a very young Ajax, had a very successful campaign in the Champions League only to be eliminated in the semi finals. After leaving Ajax between 2015 and 2018 Ruben was director of Cruyff Football, spreading Johan Cruyff’s football legacy throughout the world.
In 2018, together with Patrick Oudejans, he founded Montessori Sports with the aim to enrich Montessori environments with sports and to use the power of sports to improve education for all children. In 2020 Montessori Sports signed a strategic partnership with AMI. Montessori Sports programs run in France, Spain, Mexico, China and Australia. Furthermore, Ruben initiated the Montessori Sports Fund. This AMI managed fund supports indigenous communities to create and sustain holistic Montessori learning environments for children, using the power of sports. Ruben is strategic advisor to the Dutch professional football club FC Volendam. He holds a master's degree in environmental science and business administration and obtained the AMI 3-6 diploma in 2020 with AMI trainer Guadalupe Borbolla.
Do you want to get in touch with Ruben? Send an email to [email protected]
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