Our Story

How it all began...

The Saint Sebastian Sports Project was born on the bleachers of the American Martyrs School gym in 2008. Jim and Clare Gurbach, whose three children were enrolled at American Martyrs, had spent hours and hours in the stands watching their children’s CYO teams compete against other Catholic schools in the archdiocese. The Gurbachs couldn’t help but notice the obvious. The kids on many of the opposing teams that hailed from less privileged areas were loaded with talent; what they lacked was effective coaching, and team uniforms, and even basic sports equipment like balls, nets and shin guards. The Gurbachs decided to do something to level the playing field. With the support of family and friends, they started raising money to fund and support team sports in under-resourced archdiocesan schools. They called their effort the Saint Sebastian Sports Project, named after the patron saint of athletes and the inscription above the very doors they walked out of that day.


Beginning with a handful of schools in 2009, the Saint Sebastian Sports Project now supports sports programs in over 34 Catholic elementary schools in and around the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Because of SSP’s generous supporters, hundreds of Catholic school students across the southland have had the opportunity to experience the fun-- and the life lessons-- that come from being a member of a sports team.

Continue reading about our name.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)