Calgary North MLA Muhammad Yaseen believes rodeo should be named the official sport of Alberta.

The first reading of private member's Bill 212 was carried earlier this month towards achieving this goal.

In introducing the bill, MLA Yaseen says he lived in rural Alberta for 40-plus years in conjunction with his work in the energy sector.

"Here, I learned and experienced a rich rural culture, a culture of hospitality, generosity, co-operation, and collaboration, with rodeo being the most favourite sport," he said while introducing the bill. "Rodeo is an important thread in the rich cultural fabric of our province. The rodeo is about competition, entertainment, music, and, of course, the food."

He says community is at the heart of rodeo.

"It’s about bringing together people from all walks of life, all different backgrounds, immigrants like myself or people who have been here in Alberta for generations like yourself. Our love for rodeo is something we share as Albertans, and I want that to be officially recognized in legislation."

Yaseen says he was saddened when the Calgary Stampede was cancelled this year, and believes that feeling was shared by many other Albertans as one-by-one rodeos were cancelled across the province.

"I hope this bill will be a small beacon of hope for Albertans as we end this challenging year, 2020, and serve as a reminder that we have much to look forward to."