The largest Downer Masters Games sport got underway at Wembley Park today and it was the women's players to the fore at the 11-a-side football module.

There are 43 teams competing over the three days at 30th anniversary games, which added up to 757 players, well up on the 703 from 2017.

"Each individual grade will have their own time slots [on each day]," said co-ordinator Peter James yesterday.

"The sad thing for me is no-one from the South [Island] comes up, when we go down there."


Part of the reason for the increase is the strong turnout of women players.

The combined women's grade has 13 teams competing, making it larger than the other men's grades of 35+ with 11 teams, the 45+ grade with 12 and the 50+ with seven.

"We've had a huge increase in women's football, which is great," said James.

Games last 40 minutes each with teams playing 2-3 matches per day.

With eight fields to play on, each age grade is split into two pools and after the round robin competition, they will play cross over matches to find the sides that will go for the medals on Sunday.

On a hot afternoon, there was also a large marquee set up outside the Wanganui Athletic FC clubrooms for teams to shelter from the sun and enjoy a beverage.

Dean Eagar looks for an opening to pass.
Dean Eagar looks for an opening to pass.