Sports mad Allan Jackson would wash dishes if it meant getting the chance to rub shoulders with elite athletes during the heat of competition.
Fortunately for the 48 year-old Christchurch business owner, he won't have to. Jackson is one of six Kiwis called in to the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team to support the athletes as they chase gold in Brisbane in April.
"It's all a bit surreal," says Jackson. "I'm mad about sports and follow everything, but I've never been around the elite level before; mate I'd wash dishes if I had to, so it's going to be very special."
Jackson, along with the other five 'members', was selected from a list of 2000 people who applied for the roles. Part of the ANZ's Commonwealth Games Join the Team campaign, the six will assist with general team services, social media and driving duties during the 12-days of competition.
They will be part of the New Zealand team's inner circle, carrying out a range of tasks that will vary from day-today and doing whatever is required to support the athletes in the high performance environment.
"I've been told my role will be in helping with team services, a lot of meet and greet-type stuff," says Jackson.
But he initially thought he had missed out on the job. "I saw the ad on television and remember saying to my wife it would be a great opportunity and so decided to give it a crack and apply.
"I thought the winners names would be drawn out of a hat, but I had to submit up to 500 words about why they should pick me and go through an interview by video conference with the ANZ and New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) officials.
Next thing he knew he was being surprised in a Christchurch café by double Olympic rowing gold medallist Eric Murray - the ANZ ambassador who will lead the six members on the Gold Coast - with the news he was one of those chosen.
Jackson, who is part-owner of an apparel business, was lured to the café for a meeting with a client: "I wondered at the time why they needed me there but it turned out to be a set-up. When I saw Eric walk in I couldn't believe it.
"It is just so exciting and I never thought I would get an opportunity like this," he says.
Jackson says he always wondered what it is like to play sport at the very top level. "I do a bit of mountain biking and I played first five eighth in the senior New Brighton rugby club team here in Christchurch years ago, but I was really a non-tackling first five, I've never been that good at anything."
These days Jackson spends a lot of time watching his 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter play football – and likes to get to the Crusaders home games in super rugby. But the Commonwealth Games will top the lot.
"I'll be taking as much credit as I can for the medals we win," he jokes.
Others chosen include Kim-anaka Baillie (43) of Auckland, Paul Schultz (24) of Christchurch, Lisa Peden (30) of Hamilton, Matt Davies (26) of Auckland and Chelsea Herbert (19) of Auckland.
Murray says picking the six members was a tough decision. "But those chosen stood out for their personality, attitude and appreciation of the high performance sporting environment.
"Athletes can't succeed on their own and rely on help from many others, so those selected will have a really important job while getting to live and breathe the excitement of the games," he says.
The games run from April 4-15.